Berlin Kreuzberg is an area that has seen many changes throughout the city’s recent history. Like much of the city, it was heavily damaged after bombings during WWII, and afterwards being within sight of the Berlin Wall following the city’s division between the east and west. Since then, however, many areas within the district have seen massive development in the aid of making the ‘logical’ centre of the city more appealing to citizens.
One of these additions is a sculpture simply known as; ‘Tilted Donut Wedge with Two Balls’, by Fletcher Benton. This kinetic art sculpture was donated to the city of Berlin by the artist alongside other pieces to local art galleries and museums. The Tilted Donut found its place within Besselpark, Kreuzberg after the city’s authorities began to rejuvenate the area.
Although Besselpark may seem to be somewhat distraught and out of place, considering its current condition and its surroundings of high rise and contemporary buildings, the park holds a strategic place for the city in benefit to its citizens. The park had been marked as a potential spot for an open green space, a flower market and a general connection to nature in the area, back in the rebuilding period following WWII.
The sculpture, that now welcomes entrants to the park brings with it curiosity and intrigue. Many benches, grassy patches and walkways make it a desirable park for local office workers to have lunch, tourists to walk through between the nearby Checkpoint Charlie and Jewish Museum, and those just enjoying free time in a quiet, green space.
Fletcher Benton donated the Tilted Donut in 2010, and it being added to the park the following year. The massive steel structure reflects the kinetic style Benton was known for, despite being made of solid metal. Benton’s interest in this style of art was originally created through the city of Berlin itself, with him visiting George Rickey, a fellow American artist who spent some time in the city.
Fletcher Benton unfortunately passed away in June, 2019, and yet with any sculptor, his work still lives on in many pieces around the globe, including the installation here in Besselpark.