Among the many artefacts, sculptures and areas of Berlin there are a handful of anonymous pieces. Near what has been labelled as the geographic centre of the city on Alexanderinenstrasse, there stands an abstract metal sculpture entitled ‘Spielende Junge’ (the playing boys) by some online sources. With many styles featuring in this piece, in this writer’s brief knowledge of artistic techniques, one that stands out is kinetic artwork.
Spielende Junge stands both in the middle of the city and also a residential district. Just a stone’s throw away from the Jewish Museum Berlin, home to the history of Judaism in the city and its recovery since the Holocaust, the piece seems to have been forgotten about, alongside the many residential high-rise buildings nearby.
Despite being directly in the middle of a green area surrounded by many flat balconies and windows, Spielende Junge has only been taken over by nature. Many ivy branches and grass stems have woven into its base, the inhabitants of the area either ignorant of the piece or the area’s authorities prioritising other work over the care of the open space.
The many points and arcs of the piece are ideal to both point to the surroundings, but also to attract attention to itself. Not only are there many leading lines to the piece, but there appears to be a resemblance to children playing in the shapes created. Whether this is the actual intention of the artist or just a figment of this observers mind remains to be found out.
Throughout the many centuries and millennia of the human race it is said that anywhere between 80-95% of all artwork and literature has been lost through a variety of causes. The many questions that are posed through this issue can potentially be linked to this now mysterious piece in a residential estate. If even contemporary pieces cannot be traced, will this continue to be an issue in the future? If pieces are not forgotten about or lost, will that create more creative opportunities or less? And finally, who decides on the value of creativity?