By Vince Grzegorek
And what is the viewer supposed to take away from the combination of Wahoo and Germany?
Supposedly this: "The project, which combines a symbol of the American Rust Belt with a souvenir of Communist town planning, is meant to reflect on the broader subject of urban decline. And it would only be possible in Berlin, says the artist. 'You would never find an abandoned building in the middle of Paris.'"
That's one theory. Another theory is that the Indian symbol is quite intentional. An Indian supposedly symbolizes primitiveness or savagery--i.e., a lack of civilization. It's uncivilized to let a city decline into a mass of derelict buildings. So Chief Wahoo = urban decay.
Then there's the whole German love of Indians as seen in the hobbyist movement. How can you use an Indian symbol in Germany without taking that into account? Maybe Chief Wahoo is an ironic statement: Germans cherish their vision of a primitive pastoral past while ignoring the grim reality in front of their faces. Chief Wahoo is smirking at them as if he gets the point but they don't.
I think you have to stretch to say the artist wanted to make a statement about Cleveland and just happened to use Chief Wahoo. More likely it's the other way around: the artist wanted to make a statement about Indians and just happened to use a Cleveland symbol.
For more on Chief Wahoo, see Turbaned Indian Offensive, Chief Wahoo Okay and A Mascot for White People.