Valeska Peschke – Und er kommt nicht allein


Over seven meters tall, a black silhouette of a dog casts its shadow over Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum. It is a visible landmark on one of Berlin’s vacant lots, a monument to the area’s most frequent users, canines. The landmark derives from the famous Toro de Osborne (Osborne’s Bull). In 1956, the Osborne Sherry Company began erecting silhouettes of a bull as advertising billboards along highways throughout Spain’s spacious and mountainous landscape. Nearly 40 years later, a law was passed forbidding such advertising. By then, however, the public had adopted the Toro as an unofficial national symbol. After citizen resistance in 1997, the Spanish High Court allowed them to remain as objects of cultural and aesthetic significance. Valeska Peschke displaces the principles of the Spanish Toro to downtown Berlin. But whereas the Toro’s scale was determined by its distance from the highway, the dog comes with a clean slate, void of commercial intent and establishing its own significance to the site.
Interestingly, the dog was originally to be erected across the street on a collection of city owned properties. This section of Skulpturenpark is arguably the most ‹park-like› and most frequented by local residents and dog owners. However, it was for this reason that the authorities denied building permission, for fear that the sculpture would legitimize the land’s already public use as a dog run.

*The title is a quote from Durs Grünbein’s poem, Portrait des Künstlers als junger Grenzhund