Next to the center of the German capital, in front of Janowitzbrucke station, there is a strange installation attracting the attention of the tourists.
“Is this alive or is it dead?” says Susanne, who is walking next to the street. She is a little bit afraid of the black bearskin hanging from a branch.
The “non-toed für –coaties” exhibition consists of bearskin coats hung over the trees or tires tied to a branch. It is created by the Neozoon group, a Berlin and Paris-based artist group , known for their actions performed in public spaces.
The concept of their work is the relationship between animal and human in their own habitat: a western urban living space. Second-hand and discarded animal skins both supply Neozoon with their source material and represent the basis of their research.
“This waste product is re-evaluated by going through a treatment process and by then being subsequently put back out on the street. In this case, the city serves as the field of experimentation which is used to trace how modern society deals with both dead and living animals,” wrote the group in a press release from a performance in a Berlin art gallery last year.
The choice of the bears, symbol of the German capital, and the place of the installation – not so far from the park where the Maxi and her daughter Schnuti are exposed to the public - is not accidental.