Daniel Bozhkov – Sigmund Jähn Döner Kebab Stand, Sigmund Jähn Park


On August 26, 1978, Sigmund Jähn flew on board Soyuz 31 to the Soviet space station, Salyut 6, as a participant in the Intercosmos Space Program. Remarkable for times when both East and West Germany distinguished their heroes as clearly belonging to their respective states, Sigmund Jähn was declared, somewhat presciently, the ‹first German in outer space›.
To mark the occasion, Skulpturenpark permits Bozhkov to rename the park, Sigmund Jähn Park, and run the Sigmund Jähn Döner Kebab Stand for 7 days, 20 hours, and 49 minutes – the duration of Sigmund Jähn’s flight. During business hours (noon–6pm, daily), tasty Turkish döners are cut and served from the spinning, celestial spit.
The project involves the döner wagon, a life-size sculpture of Sigmund Jähn and a series of hand-painted billboards, which present the Intercosmos Space Program and its internationalist and futuristic aspirations. A live-feed, telescopic, surveillance camera is pointed at the food stand and cosmonaut from an adjacent building’s top-floor suite, and transmitted to a black and white monitor at street level. The issues of the piece are underlined by a 23-minute musical piece composed by Yotam Haber, in collaboration with Bozhkov. Played from a radio in the döner wagon, NASA Voyager sound recordings of Jupiter provide a space for Beethoven’s Turkish March to encounter contemporary Turkish rap. Everyday sounds – walking, eating, playing and grooming cross paths with Islamic prayers and speeches by
Erich Honecker, Kemal Ataturk, and Helmut Schmidt, only to dissolve into YouTube performances of Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca, Janissary music and German car commercials.