Emscher-Baustelle (construction site) | Oberhausen Osterfeld Süd, Germany | © Mikko Gaestel
BER airport, the “never-ending” A3 freeway project in Italy, the soccer arenas in Qatar: What do major construction sites – the hidden choreographies of delayed completions and cost adjustments, the complex interdependencies of business and government stakeholders, the invisible connections in the entire world – divulge about our society? Why do states build and for whom? What’s it all about: participation or is there a master plan? Following Top Secret International (State 1) about global secret services, in the second part of the tetralogy about post-democratic phenomena, Rimini Protokoll look at large construction sites as models for the current constitution of society.
The audience follows seven experts on tours of scenic construction sites across the simultaneous stages of an ever-expanding space. A Romanian construction worker takes the audience with him to lay tiles and talk about overtime and moonlighting. An investment consultant draws up a cost-benefit analysis for investments in “concrete gold.” A construction lawyer introduces the audience to “martial arts supplementary claims.” The former smoke extraction planner for Berlin’s BER airport reconstructs his building site to explain how to become a fall guy for the government. An attorney takes a look behind the scenes of the largest corruption case in North Rhine-Westphalia. And an economist gazes from a Swiss terrace overlooking Singapore at a master plan for post-fossil construction. This creates a spatial picture of “hidden objects,” from which an ant researcher shows how a state whose inhabitants do not understand participation as the sum of particular interests can build.
At the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, which is currently hidden behind the scaffolding and cranes of an adjacent construction site, Rimini Protokoll translate the interlaced network of international investors, construction consortiums and contractors, public procurers and outsourced suppliers into a large, navigable spatial model.