Fifty kilometers from Berlin is a huge hangar. It was built by the German Luftwaffe in 1938, and briefly served as a construction site for zeppelins in the 1990s, but today it houses a tropical swimming paradise. A million visitors a year come here to spend a day lazing in an indoor reproduction of Bali, Thailand or the Amazon, with the temperature at a constant 26 degrees Celsius.
Ahmet Ögüt points out the absurdity of this leisure paradise by focusing on one of the smallest cogs in the wheel of a 500-strong team: the man who drags a hot air balloon with a basket around the hangar on a cable. Ögüt’s work has often shown he has a keen eye for everyday absurdities that we have come to see as normal. He installed police shields in a museum as swing doors, for example, and set up a VIP lounge for interns at the chic Art Dubai fair. His choreography at the Tropical Islands resort is an ode to the lowest order in today’s service industry, in one of Germany’s poorest states.