Game Changer: Reversed Dunk by KIM/ILLI

Conceived by transdisciplinary studio KIM/ILLI, Reversed Dunk is a site-specific intervention that reveals the changes in Berlin's urban dynamics and the reclamation of public space

Words and Images KIM/ILLI
Editing The Kanto team

Kanto Spaces-submission-reversed dunk

Reversed Dunk stands at the Warschauer Brücke in Berlin as our homage to the vibrant pulse of urban culture, an embodiment of our vision within the intricate tapestry of modern spatial dynamics. This daring endeavor showcases a shopping cart transformed into a basketball hoop, perched atop a twenty-meter high, sinuous ramp. This juxtaposition aims to expose the consequences of neoliberal strategies within our urban canvas, a reminder of how a tired and tested materialistic system leads to more inaccessibility.

The cart is frozen mid-flight above the bustling street below, symbolic of the inherent injustices forced into economies driven by insatiable acceleration and unbridled growth. The expansive playing field serves as an allegory for the unattainable “score” within a system demanding extraordinary feats from communities excluded by global financial capital.  

We unearthed layers of history by engaging with the site’s symbolic essence. The locale once had a poignant borderline between two political ideologies, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg—East and West Berlin. These neighborhoods were the cradle of working-class resilience, interwoven with diverse migration backgrounds, etching their stories into the urban fabric. These themes are embedded in the project through intricate symbolism, all while ensuring that the intervention respects its physical context.

Reversed Dunk goes beyond artistry. Guided by the echoes of the Berlin Wall, it is a visual chronicle of Berlin’s evolution since 1989. It also serves as a commentary on the resulting divisions and expropriations, reflecting on how authentic street cultures deteriorated over time. At its heart, the site-specific intervention is a call to reclaim public space, providing a sanctuary for voices affected by gentrification, and igniting conversations on the lifeblood of our society.  

Moreover, Reversed Dunk is a satirical take on the prevalence of high-rise buildings and oversized landmarks that dominate contemporary urban skylines. By overthrowing these tropes, we aim to challenge the conventional notions of monumentality and power dynamics embedded within our built environment.  

Kanto Spaces-submission-reversed dunk

Rooted in the intrinsic spirit of its surroundings, Reversed Dunk invites the public to engage with its meaning and the space it inhabits. The installation aims to put things in position, hoping that it can be a catalyst for reimagining and revitalizing the locale as a vibrant center of communal expression. •

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