Zentrum für Politische Schönheit
Berlin’s Zentrum für Politische Schönheit (ZPS) considers itself a “storm troop for moral beauty, political poetry and human broadmindedness.” The artists strive to have an impact that goes beyond the world of art. Art should cause pain, provoke intense debate, evoke resistance. With their actions they speak out against institutions and power systems and they expose abuses.
The ZPS started a campaign in 2012 against the German government’s planned delivery of 270 tanks to Saudi Arabia. The collective offered €25.000 to anyone who had evidence that could put the relevant weapon producer behind bars.
The work Erster Europäische Mauerfall (2014) takes on the refugee issue. With white crosses the city of Berlin remembers the dead who fell at the Wall. The ZPS confiscated the crosses and brought them to the symbolic European Wall; the places where asylum seekers try to enter Europe, and where they sometimes pay with their lives.
With the action Die Toten Bowls (2015) ZPS wants to bring the corpses of thousands of drowned boat refugees to Germany to give them a dignified burial in front of Angela Merkels’ political residence. In this way the collective aims to bring the immigration problem into the heart of Europe, where decisions are made. And call for attention to the plight of thousands of people who have lost their lives on their journey a better life.
Is this art? Is this political activism? It is in any case a relevant contribution to society.