Berlin blog 2
Michael Rodemer is spending much of the Summer of 2011 doing a collaborative art project in Berlin with Berlin artist (and former A&D Witt Resident) Franz John as part of Über-Lebenskunst, a symposium devoted to exploring sustainability, sponsored by the House of World Cultures and the Federal Cultural Foundation.
Berlin Blog 2 May 20, 2011
Twenty-two years later, it challenges belief that there could have been a long, high, heavily guarded wall that split this city in two, isolating both halves, in different ways.
I cross this line of stones every day; it’s between the apartment where I stay, and the S-Bahn (commuter train) stop Wilhelmsruh, which is the starting point for most of my travel within the city. (The plaque says, "Berlin Wall 1961 -- 1990.") Note that the Wall split the sidewalks and the street in two.
The Wall still exists in many ways: as a tourist attraction, yes, but also as a wound in the consciousness of millions of people, as the ghost of an injustice and affront to human dignity that is finally, forever gone. Subtle signs of the long separation of the two parts of the city are everywhere, if one knows what to look for. I’ll show some of this as I write in the coming weeks. I can’t manage a coherent, one-stop journalistic treatment of the Wall, but will keep coming back to it during these blogs, as I get time to go to places like the Bernauerstrasse Wall Museum, the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, etc.
To conclude this short blog, here are two photos of the New Synagogue in the Oranienburgerstrasse, former East Berlin. Point of view matters a good deal!
I include the second photo because it nicely illustrates the indifference of the camera, and the willingness of our eyes and minds to blot out blemishes in what we wish to see.