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Conjured spaces : representation and the recurring past in post-unification Berlin Phillips, Kimberly Jean 2007

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CONJURED SPACES: REPRESENTATION AND THE RECURRING PAST IN POST-UNIFICATION BERLIN by KIMBERLY JEAN PHILLIPS B.A. (Hons.), The University of Victoria, 1997 M. A., The University of British Columbia, 2000 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Fine Arts) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 2007 © Kimberly Jean Phillips, 2007 11 ABSTRACT Behind the mask of new architecture rapidly transforming Berlin's visage in the years following Germany's reunification in 1990 lie profound anxieties over the nature and implications of the city's reconstruction in the face of an irresolvable past and an unclear future. A disenchanted and destabilized eastern population, resurfacing questions over the definition of "Germanness" and the German nation, and the sudden collision of two very different official narratives of the National Socialist and communist pasts frustrate the city's desire to present a unified identity in the first years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. To access this difficult terrain, my dissertation departs markedly from the focus of much of the published literature on the post-unification city and looks not to Berlin's new building projects themselves but rather to the more unstable spaces between architecture: those more marginal or unresolved sites and surfaces which, in states of flux, paralysis, or neglect, are more vulnerable to (and revealing of) the possibilities of appropriation and disturbance. This study considers three temporary, site-specific installations that for brief moments haunted such sites in Berlin during the first volatile years after 1990: Shimon Attie's 1991-1992 photographic projections entitled The Writing on the Wall, the 1993 simulation in canvas of Berlin's demolished Stadtschloss, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude's famed wrapping of the Reichstag in 1995. Visible only fleetingly amidst the solidity of the city's built landscape (and the heaviness of it's history), it is the very impermanence of such representations, I contend, that afford them their critical power. Ill Drawing upon theories of memory, trauma, and desire, I argue that these installations can be brought to bear directly on the contentious politics of memory and identity that permeate Berlin's social and spatial practice in the years following the fall of the Wall, exposing anxious edges of "Germanness," desires to recuperate (and repress) certain historical narratives, and ambivalent sites of fixation in a city negotiating its new role as once again capital of a unified German nation-state. In this way, such interventions provide narrow windows through which we might glimpse the uncertain, unquiet space that operates behind a redefining city's scripted surface, and the pasts that lie in wait there. The task of this dissertation is to explore this space. IV TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract 1 1 Table of Contents l v List of Figures v List of Abbreviations X X 1 Acknowledgements x x n INTRODUCTION Encounters 1 CHAPTER ONE Visitations *3 CHAPTER T W O Exhumations 9 4 CHAPTER THREE Fixations CONCLUSION Returns 2 1 2 Figures 227 Bibliography 369 V LIST O F FIGURES Figure 1: Page from Tacita Dean's Die Regimentstochter, 2005. Source: Tacita Dean, Die Regimentstochter (Germany: Steidl, 2005), no pagination. Page 228. Figure 2: Max Ernst, Thursday, collage from Une Semaine de Bonte, 1934. Source: Max Ernst, Une Semaine de Bonte: A Surrealist Novel in Collage (New York: Dover Publications, 1976), 168. Page 229. Figure 3: Hannah Hoch, Deutsches Madchen, 1930 Source: Maud Lavin, Cut with the Kitchen Knife: the Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Hoch (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1993), plate 5. Page 230. Figure 4: Page from Tacita Dean's Die Regimentstochter, 2005. Source: Dean, Die Regimentstochter, no pagination. Page 231. Figure 5: Page from Tacita Dean's Die Regimentstochter, 2005. Source: Dean, Die Regimentstochter, no pagination. Page 232. Figure 6: Page from Tacita Dean's Die Regimentstochter, 2005. Source: Dean, Die Regimentstochter, no pagination. Page 233. Figure 7: The new towers of Potsdamer Platz amidst construction cranes, Berlin. Photograph: author, 2002. Page 234. Figure 8: Reconstructed streetscape opposite the Gendarmenmarkt. Mitte, Berlin. Photograph: author, 2002. Page 235. Figure 9: View from Unter den Linden towards Pariser Platz and the Brandenburg Gate under restoration, covered with tarpaulin screen and painted with a representation of the Gate itself, Berlin. Photograph: author, 2002. Page 236. F i g u r e 10: Tarpaulin simulation of Karl Friedrich Schinkel's former Bauakademie (with one corner rendered in brick). District Mitte, Berlin. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 237. F i g u r e 11: Detail: corner of the Bauakademie screen. District Mitte, Berlin. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 238. F igure 12: The facades of apartment houses serving as the first incarnation of the frontline Wall, Bernauer Strasse, Berlin, 1965 Source: Polly Feversham and Leo Schmidt, Die Berliner Mauer Heute (Berlin: Verlag Bauwesen, 1999), 32. Page 239. F i g u r e 13: Keith Haring painting a section of the Berlin Wall near Checkpoint Charlie, 1986. Source: Feversham and Schmidt, Die Berliner Mauer Heute, 62. Page 240. F i g u r e 14: Fragments of the Berlin Wall offered for sale, Berlin 1998. Source: Feversham and Schmidt, Die Berliner Mauer Heute, 60. Page 241. F i g u r e 15: Berlin under construction; the future site of the Canadian Embassy on Leipziger Platz. Berlin, 2002. Photograph: author. Page 242. F i g u r e 16: Shimon Attie, Joachimstrasse 2: Former Jewish resident, ca. 1930, Spandauer Vorstadt, Berlin, 1992. Source: Shimon Attie, Sites Unseen: Shimon Attie European Projects: Installations and Photographs (Vermont: Verve Editions, 1998), 99. Page 243. F i g u r e 17: Shimon Attie, Joachimstrasse 11a: Former Jewish cafe with patrons, 1933, Spandauer Vorstadt, Berlin, 1992. Source: Attie, Sites Unseen, 97. Page 244. F i g u r e 18: Shimon Attie, Mulackstrasse 37: Former Jewish Residents, ca. 1932. Spandauer Vorstadt, Berlin, 1992 Source: Attie, Sites Unseen, 117. Page 245. F igure 19: Jochen Gerz and Esther Shalev-Gerz, Monument Against Fascism, Harburg (suburb of Hamburg), 1986. Source: James E. Young, The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), 29. Page 246. Figure 20: Horst Hoheisel, Submission for the Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin, 1995. Source: James E. Young, At Memory's Edge: After-images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), 93. Page 247. F i g u r e 21: Krzysztof Wodizcko, Leninplatz — Projektion, Die Endlichkeit der Freiheit exhibition, Friedrichshain, Berlin, 1990. Source: Giorgio Verzotti, "Doppel Jeopardy," Artforum 29 (November 1990), 124. Page 248. F i g u r e 22: Christian Boltanski, Missing House, Die Endlichkeit der Frieheit exhibition, Spandauer Vorstadt, Berlin, 1990. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 249. F i g u r e 23: Christian Boltanski, detail of Missing House. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 250 F i g u r e 24: Karol Broniatowski, Mahnmal Bahnhof Griinewald, Wilmersdorf, Berlin, dedicated 1991. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 251. Figure 25: Frieder Schnock and Renata Stih, Places of Remembrance - Isolation and Deprivation of Rights, Expulsion, Deportation, and Murder of Berlin Jews in the Years 1933 to 1945, Schoneberg, Berlin, 1993. Source: Young, At Memory's Edge, 112. Page 252. Figure 26: Frieder Schnock and Renata Stih, detail of Places of Remembrance. The text reads: "In Bayerischen Platz Jews are only allowed to sit on yellow park benches." Source: Young, At Memory's Edge, 113. Page 252. F i g u r e 27: Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the Neue Wache, Berlin, 1817-18 Source: Brian Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997), 219. Page 253. Vll l Figure 28: Kathe Kollwitz sculpture, inside the Neue Wache (added 1993). Source: Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin, 223. Page 253. Figure 29: Aerial view of the area surrounding the future Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, 1997. Source: Foundation for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Materials on the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Berlin: Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung GmbH, 2005), 21. Page 254. Figure 30: Christine Jacob-Marks, Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, Winner of the nullified 1995 competition for a Berlin Holocaust Memorial. Source: Young, At Memory's Edge, 190. Page 255. Figure 31: Richard Serra and Peter Eisenman, photograph of the model and winning submission for the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin, November 1997. Source: Foundation for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Materials on the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, 22. Page 256. Figure 32: Fence with graffiti surrounding empty site of future Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, memorial site, Berlin, 1997. Source: Karen E. Till, The New Berlin: Memory, Politics, Place (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2005), frontispiece. Page 257. Figure 33: Dedication of the memorial at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, 24 April, 1961. Source: Jeffrey Herf, Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997), plate 4. Page 258. Figure 34: Shimon Attie, RuckerstraBe 4: Slide Projection of Jewish Residents (ca. 1925), Spandauer Vorstadt, Berlin, 1991. Source: Shimon Attie, The Writing on the Wall: Projections in Berlin's Jewish Quarter. Essays by Michael Andre Bernstein, Erwin Leiser (Heidelberg: Vereinigte Offsetdruckerein GmbH, 1994), plate 12. Page 259. Figure 35: Shimon Attie, Mulackstrasse 37, Former Kosher Butcher Shop and Laundry, c. 1930, Spandauer Vorstadt, Berlin, 1992. Source: Attie, Sites Unseen, 117. Page 260. ix F igure 36: Shimon Attie, Mulackstrafie 32, Former Kosher Butcher Shop (1930), Spandauer Vorstadt, Berlin, 1991. Source: Attie, The Writing on the Wall, plate 9. Page 261. Figure 37: Germans pass by the shattered window of a Jewish owned shop on Potsdamer Strasse, Berlin, which was destroyed during Kristallnacht. November 10, 1938. Source: http://www.annefrankguide.net/en-US/bronnenbank.asp?oid= 184-90. Page 262. Figure 38: One of a series of Nazi propaganda photographs taken inside the Warsaw ghetto in 1941. Source: Peter Neville, The Holocaust (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 53. Page 263. Figure 39: Shimon Attie, GipstraBe 23a: Slide Projection of Jewish Residents (ca. 1925), Spandauer Vorstadt, Berlin, 1991. Source: Attie, The Writing on the Wall, plate 15. Page 264. F i g u r e 40: Shimon Attie, 119 JoachimstraBe/corner AuguststraBe: Former Jewish Resident, 1931, Spandauer Vorstadt, Berlin, 1991. Source: Attie, Sites Unseen, 119. Page 265. F igure 41: Wolfgang Goschel, Joachim von Rosenberg, and Hans-Norbert Burkert, Spiegelwand memorial to the deported Jews of Steglitz, Steglitz, Berlin, 1995. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 266. F igure 42: Canvas Stadtschloss, erected on Berlin's Spreeinsel, Mitte, Berlin, summer 1993. Source: Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin, 42. Page 267. Figure 43: Photograph of historic Berliner Stadtschloss (view from the northwest), Berlin, c. 1930. Source: Alan Balfour, Berlin (London: Academy Editions, 1995), 27. Page 268. Figure 44: The former East German Parliament building, or Palast der Republik, Berlin, 1980. Source: Thomas Beutelschmidt and Julia M. Novak, Ein Palast und seine Republik: Ort — Architektur — Programm (Berlin: Verlag Bauwesen, 2001), 94. Page 269. X F i g u r e 45: Detail of the canvas Stadtschloss under construction, Berlin, 1993. Source: Beutelschmidt and Novak, Ein Palast und seine Republik, 208. Page 270. F i g u r e 46: Scaffold skeleton of canvas Schloss under construction, Berlin, 1993. Source: Balfour, ed., Berlin, 135. Page 271. F i g u r e 47: Canvas Stadtschloss fully installed, with the mirror erected against the western facade of the Palast der Republik, Berlin, 1993. Source: Balfour ed., Berlin, 134. Page 272. F i g u r e 48: Bernd Niebuhr's winning design for the International Spreeinsel Design Competition, Berlin, 1992. Source: Balfour ed., Berlin, 330. Page 273. F i g u r e 49: Johan Gregor Memhard, Map of Berlin-Colin, 1648. Source: Hermann G. Pundt, Schinkel's Berlin: A Study in Environmental Planning (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1972), 6. Page 274. F i g u r e 50: Sophie Calle, photograph of Torstrasse (formerly Wilhelm-Pieckstrasse), Spandauer Vorstadt, Berlin, 1991. Part of her project Die Entfernung/The Detachment. Source: Sophie Calle, Die Entfernung/The Detachment (Berlin: Arndt & Partner Gallery, 1996), no pagination. Page 275. F igure 51: Sophie Calle, photograph of the plinth and missing statue of a Soviet soldier in a former G D R cemetery in Michendorf, Berlin, from Die Entfernung/The Detachment, 1991. Source: Calle, Die Entfernung/The Detachment, no pagination. Page 276. F igure 52: Sophie Calle, photograph of the site of a former Deserters' Plaque at S-Bahn Friedrichstrasse, Berlin, from Die Entfernung/The Detachment, 1991. Source: Calle, Die Entfernung/The Detachment, no pagination. Page 277. Figure 53: Grosse Salle of the Palast der Republik, on the occasion of the Berliner Tage der Volkskunst, 1982. Source: Beutelschmidt and Novak, eds. Ein Palast und seine Republik, 172. Page 278. xi Figure 54: Lenin monument, designed by Nikolai Tomsky in 1970, in Leninplatz, Friedrichshain, Berlin, before 1990. Source: Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin, 174. Page 279. Figure 55: Lenin monument draped with banner reading "Keine Gewalt" ("no violence"), Leninplatz, Friedrichshain, Berlin, 1991. Source: Sergiusz Michalski, Public Monuments: Art in Political Bondage 1870-1997 (London: Reaction Books, 1998), 146. Page 280. F igure 56: Lenin monument in the process of dismantlement, Leninplatz, Friedrichshain, Berlin, 1990. Source: Philipp Oswalt, Stadt Ohne Form: Strategien einer anderer Architektur (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2000), 57. Page 281. Figure 57: Monument to Marx and Engels, painted with the phrase "Wir sind unschuldig" ("we are innocent"), formerly Marx-Engels Forum, Mitte, Berlin, May 1991. Source: Michalski, Public Monuments, 147. Page 282. Figure 58: Historic Berliner Stadtschloss, view of August Stuler's cupola, competed in 1845. Photograph: Max Missmann, 1911. Source: Hela Zattler and Horst Mauter, eds., Das Berliner Schloss: Eine Fotodokumentation der verlorenen Stadtmitte (Germany: Argon, 1991), 103. Page 283. F igure 59: Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Altesmuseum, Berlin, built in 1822-30. Mitte, Berlin. ' Photograph: author, 2002. Page 284. F i g u r e 60: Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Berliner Schauspielhaus, competed in 1821. District Mitte, Berlin. Photograph: author, 2002. Page 285. Figure 61: Eduard Gaertner, Panorama von Berlin, 1834. View toward the north from the roof of Schinkel's Friedrichwerder Kirche. Visible at the right of the image is the old Dom and to it's left, Schinkel's Altes Museum. Source: Herman Pundt, Schinkel's Berlin: A Study in Environmental Planning (Cambridge: Harvard U Press, 1972), 30-31. Page 286. F i g u r e 62: Eduard Gaertner, Panorama von Berlin, 1834. View toward the south. On the left hand side of the image is Schinkel's Bauakademie, and on the right, the Schauspielhaus. Source: Hermann Pundt, Schinkel's Berlin, 28-29. Page 287. F igu re 63: Albert Speer, model of the North-South Axis of a future Germania, with the dome of colossal Volkshalle visible at the top of the image, Berlin, 1938. Source: http://www.essential-architecture.com/ARCHITECT/ARCH-Speer.htm. Page 288. F i g u r e 64: Soviet War Memorial, Treptower Park, Treptow, Berlin Source: Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin, 195. Page 289. F i g u r e 65: Former Stalinallee (now Karl-Marx-Allee), looking east from Strausberger Platz. Berlin, 1968. Source: Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin, 185. Page 290. F i g u r e 66: Karl Friedrich Schinkel, etching after the full-scale "Panorama von Palermo," Berlin, 1808. Source: Pundt, Schinkel's Berlin, 104. Page 291. F i g u r e 67: Karl Friedrich Schinkel, drawing of Schauspielhaus interior with view of the stage backdrop on opening night, 1834. Source: Pundt, Schinkel's Berlin, 137. Page 292. F i g u r e 68: Karl Friedrich Schinkel, perspective view east down Unter den Linden, with the Altes Museum to the north and the Stadtschloss to the south (the left and right sides of the image, respectively), Berlin, 1823. Source: Barry Bergdoll, Karl Friedrich Schinkel: An Architecture for Prussia. (Rizzoli: New York, 1994), 76. Page 293. F i g u r e 69: The former Hotel Esplanade, Potsdamer Strasse, Berlin, circa. 1920. Source: Mark McGee, Berlin: A Visual and Historical Documentation from 1925 to the Present (Woodstock and New York: The Overlook Press, 2002), 165. Page 294. F igu re 70: Fragments of the Hotel Esplanade's Kaisersaal (now the Cafe Josty) behind glass and incorporated into Helmut Jahn's new architectural program at the Sony Forum, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, 1999. Photograph: author, 2003. Page 295. Figure 71: Fragments of the former Hotel Esplanade's Friihstucksaal behind glass in the Sony Forum at Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, 1999. Photograph: author, 2003. Page 296. Figure 72: Remains of the Hotel Esplanade inserted into Sony Forum at Potsdamer Platz; view from Potsdamer Strasse, Berlin, 1999. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 297. Figure 73: Staatrastgebaude (State Council Building), view of north facade with preserved Stadtschloss portico, Berlin. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 298. F i g u r e 74: Kaiser-Wilhelms Gedachtniskirche with memorial complex, Breitscheidplatz, Berlin. Photograph: author, 2002. Page 299. F igure 75: Screen masking Brandenburg Gates under restoration, Berlin, 2002. Source: www.davidm.net. Page 300. Figure 76: Albert Speer, mock-up of Reichs Chancellery (scale 1:1), Berlin, 1938. Source: Oswalt, Berlin: Stadt ohne Form, 92. Page 301. Figure 77: Albert Speer, mock-up of the Regiment Barracks (scale 1:1), Berlin, 1941. Source: Oswalt, Berlin: Stadt ohne Form, 92. Page 301. F i g u r e 78: Miisterfassaden, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, 1999. Source: Oswalt, Stadt ohne Form, 96. Page 302. Figure 79: Tarpaulin mockup of Schinkel's former Bauakademie (with corner rendered in brick), sponsored in part by Mercedes Benz, Mitte, Berlin. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 303. F i g u r e 80: Ruins at Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, 1947. Source: Thorsten Scheer, Joseph Paul Kleihues, Paul Kahlfeldt, eds. Stadt der Architektur, Architektur der Stadt: Berlin 1900 - 2000 (Berlin: Nicolau, 2000), 235. Page 304. xiv Figure 81: The ruins of the Kreuzberg district, Berlin 1945. Source: Scheer, Kleihues, and Kahlfeldt, eds., Stadt der Architektur, 215 Page 305. Figure 82: Berliners amidst the rubble in the immediate post-war era. Soviet sector, Berlin. Source: Landesbildstelle, Berlin. Page 306. Figure 83: The division of post-war Berlin begins as painted line. Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, 1948. Source: Alan Balfour, Berlin: The Politics of Order 1737-1989 (New York: Rizzoli, 1990), 186. Page 307. Figure 84: Facades of the torn down border houses in front of the Church of Reconciliation, Bernauer Strasse, Berlin, which until 1979 formed part of the Berlin Wall. Photograph, Hans W. Mende, 1978. Source: Berliner Mauer Dokumentationszentrum, Grenzblicke: Werkschau des Dokumentationszentrums Berliner Mauer (Verein Berliner Mauer — Gedenkstatte und Dokumentationszentrum, 2000). Page 308. Figure 85: Berlin Wall at Bernauer Strasse and Ackerstrasse, 1985 (the Wall's third incarnation). Source: Berliner Mauer Dokumentationszentrum, Grenzblicke. Page 309. Figure 86: The Reichstag building, designed by Paul Wallot and completed in 1894. Photograph, about 1900. Source: Michael S. Cullen, The Reichstag: German Parliament between Monarchy and Federation (Berlin: bre.bra.verlag, 2004), 6. Page 310. Figure 87: Newspaper photograph capturing the fire in Reichstag building's plenary chamber, Berlin, 1933 Source: Ansgar Klein et. al., eds. Kunst, Symbolic undPolitik: Die Reichstagverhullung als Denkanstosse. (Opladen: Leske & Budrich, 1995), 207. Page 311. Figure 88: Jewgeni Chaldej's photograph of the battered Reichstag and bomber planes during the Battle for Berlin, May, 1945. Source: Klein, et. al., eds. Kunst, Symbolik, Politik, 218. Page 312. Figure 89: Jewgeni Chaldej's photograph Red Army soldiers hoisting the Soviet flag over the captured Reichstag, May 1945. Source: Klein, et. al., eds. Kunst, Symbolik, Politik, 273. Page 313. XV F i g u r e 90: The Reichstag after 1945. Source: McGee, Berlin, 39. Page 314. F i g u r e 91: Freedom demonstrations held in front of Reichstag, after 1961. The enormous slogan reads "Freedom knows no walls." Source: http://www.germany.info/relaunch/info/pictures/Berlin_30ctl990. Page 315. F i g u r e 92: Reunification ceremonies held on the steps of the Reichstag, Berlin, night of October 3, 1990. Source: http://www.germany.info/relaunch/info/pictures/Berlin_30ct 1990 Page 316. F i g u r e 93: Christo and Jeanne-Claude's polypropylene fabric being unfurled over the Reichstag, 5 June, 1995. Photograph: Wolfgang Volz . Source: Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Reichstag Berlin 1971-1995: A Documentation Exhibition (New York: Taschen, 2001), no pagination. Page 317. F i g u r e 94: Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Reichstag, aerial view. Berlin, June 1995. Source: Cullen, The Reichstag, 69. Page 318. F i g u r e 95: Christo, Package, 1961. Source: M o l l y Donovan, Christo and Jeanne-Claude in the Vogel Collection (National Gallery of Ar t , Washington: Harry N . Abrams, 2002), 55. Page 319. F i g u r e 96: M a n Ray, The Enigma of Isidore Ducasse, 1920. Source: Donovan, Christo and Jeanne-Claude in the Vogel Collection, 19. Page 320. F i g u r e 97: Meret Oppenheim, My Governess, 1936. Source: Jennifer Mundy, ed. Surrealism: Desire Unbound (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2001), 45. Page 321. F i g u r e 98: Christo, Wrapped Magazines, 1963. Source: Nicholas Baume, ed. Christo (Art Gallery of New South Wales: Sydney, 1990), 58. Page 322. F i g u r e 99: Rene Magritte, The hovers, 1928 Source: Mundy, Surrealism, 86. Page 323. XVI F i g u r e 100: Christo, Show Case, 1963. Source: Baume, Christo, 64. Page 324. F i g u r e 101: Christo, Storefront, 1964. Source: Baume, Christo, 67. Page 325. F i g u r e 102: Eugene Atget, Shop Window: Tailor Dummies, c.1910 Source: www.britannica.com/ ebi/art-8614 Page 326. F i g u r e 103: Arman, Poubelle des enfants, 1960 Source: Bernhard Holeczek, Arman: Parade der Objekte Retrospektive 1955 bis 1982 (Hannover: Kunstmuseum Hannover, 1982), 41. Page 327. F i g u r e 104: Daniel Spoerri, tableaupiege, 1973 Source: http://www.extralot.com/description.php?lang= l&item=37585 Page 328. F i g u r e 105: Christo, Dockside Packages, Cologne Harbour, 1961. Source: Donovan, Christo and Jeanne-Claude in the Vogel Collection, 24. Page 329. F i g u r e 106: Christo, Lower Manhattan Wrapped Building, New York, scale model, 1964. Source: Baume, Christo, 76. Page 330. F i g u r e 107: Christo, Packed Building (Project for 1 Times Square Allied Chemical Tower), collaged photographs, 1968. Source: Baume, Christo, 78 Page 331. F igu re 108: Christo, Wrapped Reichstag, Project for Der Deutsche Reichstag — West Berlin, drawing, 1977. Source: Jacob Baal-Teshuva, ed. Christo: The Reichstag and Urban Projects (Munich, New York: Prestel, 1993), plate 3. Page 332. F i g u r e 109: Christo, Wrapped Reichstag, scale model, 1993 Source: Baal-Teshuva, Christo, plate 26. Page 333. F i g u r e 110: Christo, Wrapped Reichstag, collage in two parts, 1993 Source: Baal-Teshuva, Christo, plate 21. Page 334. xvii F i g u r e 111: Christo, Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin 1995 (view east). Source: Donovan, Christo and Jeanne-Claude in the Vogel Collection, 97. Page 335. Figure 112: Detail from the Pergamon Altar (second century BCE), Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Source: http://www.smb.spk-berlin.de/smb/sammlungen/details.php?objID=3&lang=en Page 336. Figure 113: The remains of Anhalter Bahnhof s colonnaded portico, Berlin. Built in 1880, heavily damaged in World War II, and demolished 1960. Source: McGee, Berlin, 241. Page 337. Figure 114: Members of the "Active Museum Against Fascism" excavating at the site of the former Gestapo Headquarters, Berlin, 1985. Source: James E. Young, The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning {New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), 89. Page 338. Figure 115: Open Air exhibition of the "Topography of Terror," Berlin, opened in summer 1997. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 339. Figure 116: April 1945, Photograph of Red Army soldier preparing to launch missile inscribed with the words: "For the Reichstag." Source: Klein, Kunst, Symbolik und Politik, 246. Page 340. Figure 117: Russian stamp from May 1995 (with Jewgeni Chaldej's photo of the Reichstag, April 1945). Source: Klein, Kunst, Symbolik, Politik, 217. Page 341. Figure 118: Workers in hard hats straining to unfurl the fabric over the roof of the Reichstag, Berlin, 5 June, 1995. Photograph: Wolfgang Volz. Source: Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Reichstag Berlin 1971-1995, no pagination. Page 342. Figure 119: Trummerfrauen ("Rubble Women") in front of the ruins of St. Hedwig's Cathedral, Berlin, December 1945. Source: McGee, Berlin, 74. Page 343. XV111 F i g u r e 120: Trummerfrauen at work in Berlin, 1945. Source: www.nordfyns_gym.dk/.../hasenheide.htm Page 344. Figure 121: Leather fetish mask by William Seabrook, 1930. Photograph attributed to Jacques-Andre Boiffard. Source: Anthony Shelton, ed. Fetishism: Visualizing Power and Desire (London: South Bank Centre, 1995), 86. Page 345. Figure 122: Santiago Calatrava, first entry for Reichstag competition, 1993 Source: Scheer, Kleihues, and Kahlfeldt, eds. Stadt der Architektur, 371. Page 346. Figure 123: Pi de Bruijn, first entry for Reichstag competition, 1993 Source: Scheer, Kleihues, and Kahlfeldt, eds., Stadt der Architektur, 371. Page 346. F igure 124: Norman Foster, first entry for Reichstag competition, 1993. Source: Scheer, Kleihues, and Kahlfeldt, eds., Stadt der Architectktur, 371. Page 347. F i g u r e 125: Norman Foster's numerous Reichstag dome experiments. Source: Michael Wise, Capital Dilemma: Germany's Search for a New Architecture of Democracy (Hew York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1998), 122. Page 348. F i g u r e 126: Norman Foster's Reichstag dome, exterior view. Source: Norman Foster, Rebuilding the Reichstag. Ed. David Jenkins, with contributions by Martin Pawley, Helmet Engel, Peter Buchanan, Frederick Baker, Wilhelm Vossenkuhl (Woodstock/New York: The Overlook Press, 2000), 159 Page 349. Figure 127: The illuminated Reichstag dome as beacon at night. Source: Foster, Rebuilding the Reichstag, 160-161. Page 350. Figure 128: View east across Berlin from the roof of Reichstag. Photograph: author, 2002. Page 351. Figure 129: Reichstag visitors gazing out at the view across the city. Source: Foster, Rebuilding the Reichstag, 243. Page 352. XIX Figure 130: The kaleidoscopic effect of visitors' moving bodies reflected in the mirrored cone of the Reichstag dome. Source: Foster, Rebuilding the Reichstag, 150-1. Page 353. Figure 131: Photograph showing the extent of the graffiti left by Soviet soldiers on the walls of the Reichstag. Berlin, M a y l 9 4 5 . British and American soldiers also left messages on the Reichstag's walls; the soldier posing here is British. Source: Foster, Rebuilding the Reichstag, 119. Page 354. Figure 132: Graffiti preserved on the walls of the refurbished Reichstag, 2002. Source: Foster, Rebuilding the Reichstag, 79. Page 355. F i g u r e 133: Hans Haacke's Der Bevblkerung, north atrium of Reichstag, 2000. Photograph taken 2001. Source: Sarah Ogger, trans., "Der Bevblkerung: The German Parliamentary Debate," Grey Room 16 (Summer 2004), 113. Page 356. Figure 134: Dem Deutschen Volke, dedication on west portal of Reichstag, installed in 1917. Photograph: author, 2002. Page 357. F igure 135: Parliamentarians depositing soil into the trench of Der Bevblkerung, Reichstag, 2000. Source: Gotz Adriani, Andreas Kaenbach and Karin Stempel, eds., Kunst im Reichstagsgebdude: Im Auftrag des Deutschen Bundestags (Koln: Dummt Literatur und Kunst Verlag, 2002), 182. Page 358. Figure 136: Aerial view: parliamentarians depositing soil into the trench of Der Bevblkerung, Reichstag, 2000. Source: Adriani, Kaenbach, and Stempel, Kunst im Reichstagsgebdude, 183. Page 359. F igu re 137: Detail: bags containing soil from parliamentarians' constituencies. The Reichstag, 2000. Source: Adriani, Kaenbach, and Stempel, Kunst im Reichstagsgebdude, 182. Page 360. Figure 138: The weeds of Der Bevblkerung, north atrium of Reichstag in May of 2006. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 361. Figure 139: Peter Eisenmann, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin, 2006. XX Photograph, author, 2006. Page 362. F i g u r e 140: Daniel Libeskind, Holocaust Tower of the Jewish Museum Berlin, Source: Daniel Libeskind, Jewish Museum Berlin: Between the Lines, text by Bernhard Schneider (Munich: Prestel, 1999), 50. Page 363. F i g u r e 141: Daniel Libeskind, E.T.A. Hoffmann Garden, Jewish Museum Berlin, Source: Libeskind, Jewish Museum Berlin: Between the Lines, 40 Page 364. F i g u r e 142: Detail: Peter Eisenmann, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin, 2006. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 365. F i g u r e 143: The former Palast der Republik undergoing dismantlement, Mitte, Berlin, April 2006. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 366. F igure 144: Ruins of the former Stadtschloss excavated and on view in front of the former Palast der Republik, Mitte, Berlin, April 2006. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 367. F i g u r e 145: The restored facade and dome of the Neue Synagoge on Oranienburger (now the Berlin Centrum Judaicum), with the empty space of the former sanctuary behind. Oranienburger Strasse, Mitte, Berlin. Source: Berlin Centrum Judaicum. Page 368. F i g u r e 146: The Volksbiihne on Rosa Luxemburg Platz, hung with a silkscreened image of the facade of the Palast der Republik. Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, May 2006. Photograph: author, 2006. Page 369. XXI LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS C D U Christlich Demokratisches Union Deutschlands (Christian Democratic Union of Germany) F R G Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschlands) G D R German Democratic Republic {Deutsche Demokratische Republik) K P D Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands (Communist Party of Germany) PDS Partei des Demokratischen Socializmus (Party of Democratic Socialism), as of 16 June, 2007 called Die Linke.PDS (The Left.PDS) SED Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (Socialist Unity Party of Germany) SPD Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (Social Democratic Party of Germany) Stasi Ministiriumfur Staatssicherheit (Former East German Ministry for State Security) XXII ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS It is a great pleasure to thank advisors, colleagues, and friends who have helped incite and inform this text in many ways. I am grateful to my research supervisor, Serge Guilbaut, for his imagination, his critical eye, and his impassioned engagement with this project. I thank the rest of my dissertation committee, Sherry McKay, Maureen Ryan, and Steven Taubeneck, for inspiring and pushing me, each in their distinct way, at crucial points. Other faculty members were also instrumental in my thinking: my thanks go to Rose Marie San Juan for conversations at early points, but particularly to Charlotte Townsend-Gault and Bill Wood, who were incredibly generous with their time and ideas throughout the duration of this project. M y participation in numerous conferences and seminar discussions, particularly at Yale in 2001, the Bard Graduate Center in 2002, and Berkeley in 2004, helped to shape and sharpen my ideas. Fellow graduate students, colleagues, and friends, particularly Brent Epp, Maya Dujakovic, Juan Gaitan, Aaron Glass, Jasmina Karabeg, Namiko Kunimoto, and Becky Lane, provided welcome critique and debate, but I must especially thank Paloma Campbell for her tireless ear and careful scrutiny of my text. A number of fellowships and grants helped to make this project possible. I am grateful for a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and for several years of support from the University of British Columbia in the form of University Graduate Fellowships, Faculty of Arts scholarships, and an Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Doctoral Fellowship. A generous grant from the Deutsche Akademische Austausch Dienst supported my research in Germany in 2002-2003, and a travel scholarship from my home department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory made a return trip to Berlin possible in 2006. In Berlin, my thanks go to the patient and inquisitive archivists and librarians at the Zentrum fur Berlin Studien and the Staatsbibliothek, and in particular to Deb and Andrew Neill, Chris Greenshields, and Ulrich Wiebusch for making the city feel like a home away from home. Not least of all, I am grateful for my dear family and closest friends, who have supported me in ways impossible to describe here and who always remind me of what's most important, and of course to Robbie for his faith in me, his intrepid love of travel and, not least importantly, his good-natured tolerance of Berlin winters. XX111 What manner of theatre is it, in which we are at once playwright, actor, stage manager, scene painter and audience? W . G . Sebald 1 1 W . G . Sebald, The Rings of Saturn translated by Michael Hulse (USA: New Directions Books, 1998 ) , 8 0 . 1 INTRODUCTION Encounters In modern Athens, the vehicles of mass transportation are called metaphorai. To go to work or come home, one takes a 'metaphor' — a bus or train. Stories could also take this noble namei.every day, they traverse and organize places; they select and link them together; they make sentences and itineraries out of them. They are spatial trajectories. Michel de Certeau' A question of repetition: a specter is always a revenant. One cannot control its comings and goings because it begins by coming back. Jacques Derrida2 I begin not with one Berlin but with several, or rather with a project that allows me access into a number of Berlins at once: the city after 1933, after 1945, as well as after 1990; its spaces of self-conscious cultural production and of cast-off detritus, its sites of both public consumption and private reflection. The project is Die Regimentstochter, one of a recent series drawn from found materials by the Berlin-based British artist Tacita Dean. Her impetus was a bundle of thirty-six old German State Opera programmes that, having been saved for decades, re-surfaced in 2005 in one of Berlin's many flea markets. Their pages brittle with age and yellowed at the edges, this particular collection of programmes would be otherwise unremarkable were it not for the fact that 1 Michel de Certeau, "Spatial Stories," The Practice of Everyday Life. Translated by Steven Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), 115. 2 Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International, translated from the French by Peggy Kamuf (New York and London: 1993), 11 (emphasis Derrida's). 2 they all shared a curious disfigurement. On the front cover of each, a modest portion had been carefully, methodically excised, creating a window through to the page below, and allowing the partial view of a word or image - the name of an opera, the portrait of a singer - printed on the page beneath. A cursory search through the archives reveals that these programmes introduced performances staged during the years of the Third Reich, and in each case the element cut from the cover is the Nazi insignia. When and why they were removed is left to our imaginations. Perhaps the cuts were small, deliberate acts of defiance performed immediately following the opera stagings themselves, by an avid theatre-goer livid at the co-optation of culture by the totalitarian regime. Or perhaps these incisions were made more recently, out of a desire to revise the past - the act of cutting a form of editing (ironically calling all the more attention to the removed element) — by someone fearful these mementos might be misinterpreted as fascist memorabilia, possibly even the flea market vender anxious not to offend a potential buyer. In Die Regimentstochter, named for the title of the Donizetti opera visible through one of the cut windows, Dean has digitally scanned the altered front cover of each programme and presented all thirty-six together as a slim soft-cover, hand bound booklet, published in limited edition by Steidl and signed and numbered by the artist.3 The details of the programmes' procurement, the possible reasons for their defacement, and Tacita Dean's own motives as artist remain entirely unexplained. As viewers, our experience of Dean's booklet is very different than the original documents themselves. The effect of the copied programme covers - where the excised pages and the partly visible ones 3 Tacita Dean, Die Regimentstochter (Gottingen: Steidl Verlag, 2005). 3 beneath are presented as one seamless sheet - create a kind of visual confusion, an uncertainty as to whether the partial images we are looking at are framed by the edges of the cut page or are in fact a second layer pasted upon its surface (figure l). The resulting quality of the reproduced covers is not unlike the surrealist collages of Max Ernst,4 themselves cut from outmoded nineteenth-century engravings found in the flea markets of Paris (figure 2), or the subversive photomontage strategies of the Weimar-era Berlin dadaist Hannah Hoch (figure 3). The edges, cut and torn, suggest both an exquisite carefulness and a small but deliberate act of violence. And those seemingly random fragments of image and text - the head and shoulders of an opera singer in Geisha costume (figure 4), the averted eyes of a composer (figure 5), the word Macht (power) unexpectedly visible between Deutsches and Opernhaus (figure 6) - interrupt the smooth materiality of the white page, transforming the otherwise mundane documents into something marvelous and uncanny. The disfigured programmes are compelling not only for the glimpse they afford into the production of (and resistance to) official culture in the Third Reich. More significantly for my purposes, as forgotten relics of a former era that, like some kind of cultural flotsam, have re-emerged in a flea market some sixty years after their production, they have a critical import in and for the present historical moment. The oppositional avant-garde understood well the revolutionary potential of the flea market, and of seizing its discarded objects at the moment which, to use Walter Benjamin's oft-quoted statement, 4 For example, see Max Ernst, Hundred Headless Women (USA: George Braziller, 1981), originally published Les Femmes 100 tetes (Paris: Editions du Carrefour, 1929); and Max Ernst, Une Semaine deBonte (New York: Dover Publications, 1976), originally published in 1934 in five booklets by the Editions Jeanne Bucker in Paris. 4 such historic traces threaten to "disappear irretrievably."5 For such figures as Charles Baudelaire, Edouard Manet, Max Ernst, and clearly also for Tacita Dean, these images and objects, which have become unhinged from the particulars of their historical moment to return in the present, can be used critically to shock, to disturb, and to demand recall. As such, the opera programmes themselves and Dean's project spawned from them serve here as a useful entry point. They suggest something, it seems to me, about reunified Berlin itself, the place in which they surfaced, and about the topic that will occupy my discussion in the coming pages. As "found collages," these oddly evocative images intimate the cunning with which the past can revisit the present, and the means through which the city itself appears to secrete that past ("secrete" used here both in the sense of "producing a kind of discharge" and in the sense of "concealing something"). They point towards the ways in which those pasts are desired, resisted, represented, or re-narrated for the future, and the ways in which, in this particular case, they demand repeated re-negotiations of Germanness. They suggest something too about the power that images, objects, and places are often believed to possess; and about spaces and surfaces, and what their seams and edges might unwittingly (and perilously) reveal. This text will concern itself with surfaces and spaces, so to speak. Each of the three chapters that together form the body of my project considers a different temporary, publicly accessible site-specific installation, oppositional or restorative in motivation, that for a brief period interrupted and activated the urban space of Berlin in the first s Walter Benjamin, "Theses on the Philosophy of History," Illuminations, edited and with an introduction by Hannah Arendt (New York: Schocken Books, 1968), 255. 5 years after Germany's reunification in 1990: Shimon Attie's 1991-92 project The Writing on the Wall; the 1993 simulation of Berlin's demolished Stadtschloss in canvas form; and the spectacle of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Wrapped Reichstag from the summer of 1995. In their brief moments of existence, I contend, these fleeting events produced spaces of rupture, unease, and criticality within a city intent on reconstructing a singular, unified identity. Between and amidst the solidity and permanence of the city's built landscape (and Berlin's buildings, with the thickness of their stone and plaster facades, their deeply punched-in windows, indeed have a peculiar heaviness) and the weight of Berlin's discursive history, it is the very impermanence and lightness of such representations, I will contend, that afford them their critical power. They can be brought to bear directly, I will argue, on the host of contentious issues that permeate Berlin's social and spatial practice in the years following the events of 1990, as the city negotiates its new roles as reunified and once again as capital of a German nation-state. Unfurled over, hovering upon, and spanning the distance between the city's new architectural articulations of power, these installations, I will argue, like the mutilated pages of Tacita Dean's found opera programmes, provide narrow windows into which we might glimpse the uncertain, unquiet spaces that operate behind the reunified city's scripted surface, and the pasts that lie in wait there. The spaces of central Berlin in the years immediately following the country's reunification are revealing indeed. The sounds of chisels and hammers determinedly chipping away at the Berlin Wall in the weeks following November 9, 1989 were ones that for many triumphantly signaled the demise of central and eastern European 6 communism and the end of a divided Germany.6 They could also be said to have signified the commencement of what would become a globally observed urban reconstruction project on a truly massive scale, as Berlin abruptly shifted from the symbol of Cold War confrontation and stasis to a chaotic city in flux: a collision point of all manner of ideas, expectations, and anxieties about the future of a reunited Germany and a new European continent. Merely weeks after the country's official reunification on October 3, 1990, a multitude of architectural and urban planning competitions were launched in Berlin, attracting the interest of internationally renowned architects and planners. The call was for nothing less than a total redefinition of the central city as capital of a newly unified German nation-state and as the economic nexus of a trans-national European Community.7 The socio-political, ideological, and metaphoric import of reconnecting this city divided for forty years by the polemics of the Cold War has ensured the rapt and sustained attention of publics, professionals, cultural critics, and scholars alike. As capital of five different historical Germanys, Berlin is the place where German modernity and national identity has been repeatedly staged and restaged, represented and contested. Just as it's divided form and the severed connections of its inhabitants served (differently, depending upon which side of the Wall you stood) as the ultimate metonym for the Cold War, the city's current urban rejuvenation, in this time of political and spatial uncertainty, is monitored carefully as though indicative of the success or failure (economically, politically, and psychologically) of a new twenty-first century Germany and central Europe. 6 The sounds of the destruction of the Berlin Wall at its most potent sites (Potsdamer Platz, Invalidenstrasse, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Brandenburg Gate) were recorded, remixed and mastered by the Berlin musician and artist Lutz Becker, in a 1990 project entitled Berlin: After the Wall. My thanks to Serge Guilbaut for bringing this project to my attention. 7 The decision to reinstate Berlin as capital of the reunified Federal Republic was by no means a foregone conclusion, as I discuss in Chapter Three. See also A. Ritchie, Faust's Metropolis: A History of Berlin (London: Harper-Collins, 1998), 850-58. 7 With the planned regeneration projects focused on such visible and ideologically potent sites in the central city as Potsdamer Platz, Friedrichstrasse, the former border crossing known as "Checkpoint Charlie," Alexanderplaz, the Spreeinsel, and the new federal government sector along the Spreebogen or "bend in the river Spree" — many of which, not coincidentally, sited upon or just inside the eastern edge of the former path of the Wall - the stakes involved in the discussion about the city's urban transformation are understandably high. Indeed architecture, as literary critic Andreas Huyssen suggests, "has always been deeply invested in the shaping of political and national identities."8 Just how invested the architectural redefinition of Berlin was in shaping the future political, economic, and cultural identity of the city and nation state, was indicated by the veritable flood of exhibitions, conferences, publications, and newly formed administrative bodies devoted to examining the city's transformation after 1990, 9 and perhaps most polemically illustrated by the rancour of the so-called Architekturdebatte that exploded in German periodicals and political weeklies in the spring of 1993, the 8 Andreas Huyssen, "The Voids of Berlin," Critical Inquiry, vol.24, no.l, Autumn 1997, 57. 9 Though too numerous to list in full, the first initiative of this kind was the Stadtforum Berlin, established by the then Senatfur Stadtentwicklung und Umweltschutz. Acknowledging that the complexity of Berlin's restructuring required not only the voices of city planners and architects, but also economists, social scientists, environmentalists, historians, artists and others, the Stadtforum was designed to generate discussion in anticipation of planned developments and to flesh out how the new Berlin might be defined. Topics included Potsdamer Platz and the Berliner Stadtschloss, Berlin's bid for the 2000 Olympic Games, comparisons with other cities, and the role of Berlin as a commercial and industrial centre. The Stadtforum gained international recognition, published numerous "media dossiers" from individual meetings, a journal, and an interactive media archive, and resulted in numerous conferences and exhibitions. It demonstrated that city-related issues were now being seen from a wider context and were of crucial importance to more than simply architects and urban planners. Though presumably democratic in nature, the Stadtforum functioned in practice according to very tightly restricted principles. It was the Senate, aided by a so-called "steering committee," that decided the speakers in advance. After opening speeches, only participants from specialist groups were allowed to take part in the discussion, with the result that participation by the public was limited to a passive role. See Ulrike Zitzlsperger, "Filling the Blanks: Berlin as Public Showcase," Recasting German Identity: Culture, Politics, and Literature in the Berlin Republic, ed. Stuart Taberner and Frank Finlay (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2002), 42-3. 8 battle lines of which were drawn between two distinct visions for a future Berlin: that of a steel-and-glass Weltstadt of global capitalism, and that which nostalgically embraced a selectively remembered past, preserving the city's historic identity as Deutschlands neue alte Metropole.w It is hardly surprising, therefore, that in the already extensive corpus of literature published to date on reunified Berlin, it is the city's frenzied post-1990 building - its seemingly innumerable new architectural projects and its gaping construction sites — which has remained the overwhelming focus of scholarly discussion. In the writings of the many architects and planners who are themselves directly implicated in the city's regeneration,11 as well as in the work of architectural historians,12 urban theorists,13 and 1 0 Ignited by an article published by then Director of the German Museum of Architecture in Frankfurt am Main, Vittorio Magnano Lampugnani, in Der Spiegel entitled "Die Provokation des Alltaglichen, Fur eine neue Konvention des Bauens" and its acrid response by Daniel Libeskind, "Die Banalitdt der Ordnung, "reproduced in Gert Kahler, ed., Einfach Schwierig. eine deutsche Architekturdebatte: Ausgewdhlte Beitrdge 1993-1995 (Braunschweig: Vieweg, 1995). The debate saw the complexity of Berlin's architectural redefinition reduced to two trends competing for dominance in the city: an architecture of global capitalism, reflected in the steel and glass towers of Potsdamer Platz, and the so-called kritisches Rekonstruktion, headed by Berlin's then Senatbaudirektor, Hans Stimmann, which argued for the return to a "traditional European" streetscape, a re-establishment of the city's historic street fabric, a restriction of building height to discourage mega-structures and the encouragement of Berlinisch building materials such as stone and brick. For discussions on kritisches rekonstruktion, see P. Davey, "Adlon Hotel. Unter den Linden, Berlin," Architectural Review 2 0 5 / 1 2 2 3 (January 1999), 28-30; Brian Ladd, Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997), 108-10; Jane Stewart, "Das Kunsthaus Tacheles: The Berlin Architectural Debate of the 1990s in Micro-Historical Context," in Recasting German Identity, 53; Bruno Flierl, Berlin baut um - Wessen Stadt wird die Stadt? (Berlin: Verlag fur Bauwesen, 1998); Daniel Libeskind, "Die Banalitat der Ordnung," in Vittorio Magnano Lampugnani and Daniel Libeskind, "Simply Difficult: a Debate on German Architecture," translated by Karin Kubaschewsli, The Journal of Architecture Volume 1, Winter 1996, 269-280. 1 1 See among many others Zaha Hadid in Andreas Papadakis, ed., Berlin Tomorrow: International Design Visions (London: Academy Editions, 1991); Rem Koolhaus and Hans Stimmann in Hans Stimnnann, ed., Babylon, Berlin etc.: Das Vokabular der europdischen Stadt (Basel and Berlin: Birkhauser Verlag, 1995); and Daniel Libeskind in Alan Balfour, Berlin (London: Academy Editions, 1995). 1 2 See for example Balfour, Berlin; Flierl, Berlin baut um; Barbara Jakubeit and Barbara Hoidn, eds., Schloss — Palast — Haus Vaterland: Gedanken zu Form, Inhalt und Geist von Wiederaufbau und 9 cultural geographers14 from inside and outside Germany, whose role it is to comment upon and critique this process, Berlin's struggle to redefine itself — and the implications of that struggle for its future and that of the reunified Federal Republic - has been studied almost exclusively through the forms of the buildings whose silhouettes re-figure Berlin's face. Even historians and literary theorists have been quick to "read" the reunified city as an "urban text," as a palimpsest repeatedly "written, erased, and rewritten," and across whose legible surface, in the form of visible built markers and the "voids" between them, is written the histories of the last several centuries.15 This present study, however, departs from the majority of the literature already published on the post-1990 city and does not fix its focus on Berlin's new architecture and urban regeneration. Whether the dense vertical massing of corporate-branded glass and steel at Potsdamer Platz (figure 7) or the meticulously reconstructed stone and plaster facades bordering the Gendarmenmarkt (figure 8), the city's re-building Neugestaltung (Berlin: Birkhauser, 1997); Philipp Oswalt, ed., Berlin: Stadt ohne Form. Strategien einer anderen Architektur (Miinchen: Prestel, 2000); Daniela Sandler, "Incarnate Politics: the Rhetorics of German Reunification in the Architecture of Berlin," Invisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture, www.rochester.edu/in_visible_culturePIssue%205/daniela3.html; Thorsten Scheer, Josef Paul Kleihues, and Paul Kahlfeldt, eds. City of Architecture/Architecture of the City: Berlin 1900-2000 (Berlin: Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2000); Ron Witte, "New W o r l d Order: Berlin," Architectural Design vol.66, 1 of 2 (January-February 1996), 13-15; and Felix Zwoch, ed. in chief, Hauptstadt Berlin: Stadtmitte Spreeinsel - Internationales Stddtbaulicher Ideenwettbewerb. Capital Berlin: Central District Spreeinsel - International Competition for Urban Design Ideas (Berlin: Birkhauser Verlag, 1994). 1 3 Francesca Rogier, "Growing Pains: F r o m the Opening of the W a l l to the Wrapping of the Reichstag," Assemblage 29 (1996), 44-85; Elizabeth A . Strom, Building the New Berlin: The Politics of Urban Development in Germany's Capital City (Lanham and Boulder: Lexington, 2001). 14' Karen E . T i l l , The New Berlin: Memory, Politics, Place (US: University of Minnesota Press, 2005). 1 5 See Brian Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin; Rolf J. Goebel, "Berlin's Architectural Citations: Reconstruction, Simulation, and the Problem of Historical Authenticity," Publications of the Modern Language Association of America vol. 118, n.5 (October 2003), 1268-1289; Andreas Huyssen, "The Voids of Berlin," Critical Inquiry (Autumn 1997), 57-81; and Huyssen, "After the War: Berlin as Palimpsest," Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003), 72-84; Michael Wise, Capital Dilemma: Germany's Search for a New Architecture of Democracy (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1998). 10 projects are the material manifestations of government and global market power. "The nexus of built form with power is, at one level, a tautological truth," as architectural theorist Kim Dovey remarks, for "place creation is determined by those in control of resources."16 As such, Berlin's new built environment is unlikely to reveal the irregularities, discord, and anxiety - forces that are often subtle and immaterial - which inflect and trouble the reunified city's social space and its desires to project a confident, redefined identity. In fact it could be argued that the city!s new architecture (and the ever-expanding discussion of it) forms a kind of smooth and constricting surface, an ideological skin pulled increasingly taut across the surface of the city. As the irregular weave of its post-1945 urban fabric gradually yields to a more coherent, normalized core, so too these irregularities and discord become increasingly difficult to discern, obscured behind a homogenizing mask rapidly transforming the city's official visage. This mask takes more than one form, often unfolding in advance of the new buildings themselves: extending across construction sites and structures under renovation in the form of enormous tarpaulin screens stretched on scaffolding and painted at scale to resemble the soon-to-be completed edifice behind. One such screen (or series of screens17) was erected in front of the Brandenburg Gate for much of 2002 (figure 9). Serving as a gigantic advertising space for the telecommunications corporation Deutsche Telekom, a two-dimensional representation of the famous monument concealed its messy restoration from view, enabling tourists and Berliners alike to 1 6 K i m Dovey, Framing Places: Mediating Power in Built Form (London and New York: Routledge, 1999), 1. 1 7 T h e representation of the Brandenburg Gate changed periodically with different screens which played humorously with the historic monument's form (one screen imaged the Gate's columns as the legs of soccer players) and the view behind it (another represented the skyline of Paris from the eastern side, and Moscow from the west). 11 continue to consume an uninterrupted vista of the historic cityscape. An even more provocative example, perhaps, is the painted screen of another neoclassical structure, erected several hundred metres east of the Brandenburg Gate in 2006. This screen, however, did not shield a building undergoing restoration but rather simulated one that was no longer in existence: the former Bauakademie, designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and completed in 1836, badly damaged in World War II and demolished in 1962 to make way for the East German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Stretched across its former site next to the river Spree in an attempt to acquire support for a total reconstruction of the Bauakademie, the representation camouflaged an entirely empty space (figure 10), and aimed to mimic the building's past (and in the minds of its organizers, future) architectural presence in the city centre. Financed by multi-national corporations, often in collaboration with the municipal or federal government, such tarpaulin screens (like the fully constructed buildings they simulate) attempt to "embed themselves in the framework of everyday life,"18 and as hegemonic tools, present a smooth and seamless surface across the city, a selective and nostalgic vision of Berlin's past and future, blotting out inconsistencies and competing ideologies in the landscape. However, Berlin's increasingly pervasive mask is highly contrived, and it is a fragile spectacle. A closer look, as this detail of the Bauakademie screen appears to illustrate (figure ll), reveals the hurriedness, or perhaps more precisely, the urgency of its construction, with seams that are lashed together and pulled taut. The illusion is betrayed by the very effort expended to maintain itself. A certain desperation, even violence, is suggested by its punctured, sutured edges, which buckle and strain, 1 8 Kim Dovey, Framing Places: Mediating Power in Built Form (London and New York: Routledge, 1999), 2. 12 threatening to pull apart. The gap between betrays an unresolved, uneven terrain lying just behind the scripted surface, which, like the incisions in Tacita Dean's opera programmes, calls attention to the turmoil that lies beneath. It is in these narrow and unintentional fissures, in the space between the seams of the city's new facades, that the carefully masked anxieties and longings which dominate Berlin's desire to redefine itself after 1990 might indeed be glimpsed. As the only city-state to include territory of both the former East and West Germanys, Berlin's political and social life has been profoundly influenced by the course of the country's reunification, serving as a kind of magnification point for a number of issues erupting as a result of the countries' extraordinary and rapid transformation. In the first euphoric weeks following the collapse of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, political commentary echoed the buoyant mood in the city in declaring that, "the massive and non-violent revolution from below" had generated "astounding results" that "no one could have foreseen," and had thereby "radically altered the political environment of central Europe." East Germans, it was declared, could now pick up the "lost" threads of their history and return to "normal" conditions.19 The isolated voices expressing concern about the future political course for the German Democratic Republic were swept aside by the breathtaking speed of the reunification campaign and the wave of public support that came in its wake. Soon after the official day of reunification on October 3, 1990, however, public celebration and a sense of collective accomplishment was quickly replaced first by a mood of "sober questioning and re-1 9 Dirk Philipsen, We Were the People: Voices from East Germany's Revolutionary Autumn of 1989 (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1993), 3. 13 evaluation/" 2 0 and then by widespread feelings of disenchantment and resentment on the part of both Easterners and Westerners, and a growing sense that the conditions of German reunification had been profoundly asymmetrical. Crit icism began to be heard by former East German dissidents and intellectuals, 2 1 who argued that the German Democratic Republic's transformation had been dictated by the West rather than formulated democratically by the East German populace itself. 2 2 Unlike Poles, Hungarians, or Czechoslovaks, the people of East Germany, having overcome the stultifying constraints of oppressive one-party rule, were now confronted with the possibility of losing part of their identity, the very part that derived from a forty year shared history under "actual existing socialism." 2 3 The historian Lothar Kettenacker communicates the bitterness felt on the part of many Easterners: They know that they need all the help they can get from the West, but that the West does not need them. Their willingness to contribute to a united Germany has been rubbished by the West and dismissed as immaterial: nothing achieved by the old G D R seemed suitable for adaptation in the West. No concessions were made to the feelings of the other half: no new name for the reconstituted whole; no new flag or national anthem; above all, no new constitution. 2 4 For East Germans, as Jurgen Habermas has remarked, "the price of admission into a market economy _was~J paid in the currency of social inequity and entirely new kinds of 2 0 Philipsen, 4. 2 1 In the first months after the fall of the Wall, these voices were isolated and came principally from inside the GDR from critics who opposed unification and wished to see a reformed East German state. These critics were joined by a number of writers from east and west, of whom Giinter Grass was the most vociferous. See Philipsen, 4-8. 2 2 What distinguished East Germany from all other Eastern European countries in transition was the existence of a much larger and wealthier western neighbour, a nation which had never given up on the claim to be representative of all Germans, West and East. The preamble to West Germany's Basic Law (their constitution) stated that the document was also formulated "on behalf of those Germans to whom participation was denied" and called for "the entire German people _...] to achieve in free self-determination the unity and freedom of Germany." See Philipsen, 3. 2 3 Philipsen, 5. 2 4 Lothar Kettenacker, Germany Since 1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 220. 14 social divisions."25 Drastic differences in living standards and a dramatic increase in unemployment in the Eastern provinces after reunification, coupled with Westerners' condescension, sense of superiority, and resentment at tax increases levied to fund the development of the eastern provinces, fostered a growing bitterness on the part of many Easterners who felt they had become socially and economically second-class citizens, victims of a colonization,26 and even "foreigners in their own country."27 Media treatment of these issues played a significant role in hardening perceptions of "Besserwessis" and "Jammerossis" into stereotypes.28 In the words of one young East German writer, the new conditions of overwhelming West German predominance resulted in "a total loss of one's own biography."29 Forty years of division had produced two very different Germanys, and in the first years after 1990 — particularly in Berlin — 2 5 Jurgen Habermas, Vergangenheit als Zukunfl/Past as Future, translated and edited by Max Pensky (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1994), 55. 2 6 Giles Radice, The New Germans (London: M. Joseph, 1995), 23. Adjustment was particularly difficult for East German women. While in 1989 over ninety-one percent of GDR women of working age were either employed or in training and education (compared with fifty-five percent in the FRG), the majority lost their jobs following unification. Comprehensive and free state-run child-care facilities, generous maternity and single mother benefits all evaporated along with the SED state. In addition to losing economic independence and the social network associated with employment, East German women also faced a radically altered family dynamic, with most suddenly assuming the role of homemaker, and were met with more restricted access to abortions and divorce in the expanded FRG. (For a discussion on women in both East and West Germany from 1949 to 1989, see Ingrid Sharp and Dagmar Flinspach, "Women in Germany from Division to Unification," The New Germany: Social, Political and Cultural Challenges of Unification, ed. Derek Lewis and John R.P. McKenzie (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1995), 173-198. For a discussion on the effects of unification on East German women, see Eva Kolinsky, "Women in the New Germany: The East-West Divide," in G. Smith, W. Paterson, and S. Padgett, eds. Developments in German Politics (London: Macmillan, 1992) 264-280; and for information specifically on the abortion debate after unification, see Joyce Mushaben, Geoffrey Giles, Sara Lennox, "Women, Men and Unification: Gender Politics and the Abortion Struggle since 1989," After Unity: Reconfiguring German Identities, ed. Konrad Jarausch, (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1997), 137-172.) 2 7 Kettenacker, 220. 2 8 Patrick Stevenson and John Theobald, "A Decade of Cultural Diversity: Diverging Discourses and Communicative Dissonance in 1990s Germany," in Relocating Germanness: Discursive Disunity in Unified Germany, ed. Patrick Stevenson and John Theobald (United Kingdom: MacMillan Press, 2000), 3. 29Quoted in Philipsen, 5. 15 it became increasingly clear that, as writer Peter Schneider has remarked with characteristic dryness, "it was the Wall alone that preserved the illusion that the Wall was the only thing separating the Germans."30 The disillusionment and destabilization of relations between Easterners and Westerners that followed the ambivalently termed Wende or "change" of 1990, as it perhaps appropriately came to be known, 3 1 was not the only cause for anxiety in post-unification Berlin. The fall of the Wall and reunification less than one year following had a paradoxical effect on Germans, instilling in them a euphoric sense of national pride but also triggering a deep crisis about what precisely it was that one ought to be proud of.32 Proclamations of the end of the Cold War era came without the ability to clarify the precise implications of these developments for a collective German self-consciousness,33 and the unforeseen return of the nation-state through reunification confronted Germans with long repressed questions over the definition of "Germanness" and the German nation. These questions resurfaced, ironically, at precisely the moment that the former Federal Republic had been championing a politically integrated Europe, an objective which, in the opinion of many scholars, had largely been pursued prior to 1990 as a 3 0 Peter Schneider, quoted in Ulf Zimmermann, "Review of Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape by Brian Ladd," German Studies Review volume 21, number 1 (February 1998), 179. 3 1 An interesting note is that the term Wende as a descriptor of the time of reunification was originally borrowed from a 1983 conservative West German electoral campaign slogan. After eleven years of governance led by the Social Democrats (SPD), the Christian Democratic Union had promised a Wende away from "economic mismanagement" and "welfare statism." Thus for progressive, liberal citizens in both East and West, the term Wende clearly implied a turn backward. See Dirk Philipsen, We Were the People, 6. 3 2 Gerd Gemiinden, "Nostalgia for the Nation: Intellectuals and National Identity in Unified Germany," in Acts of Memory: Cultural Recall in the Present, ed. Mieke Bal, Jonathan Crewe, and Leo Spitzer (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 1999), 120. 3 3 Konrad Jarausch, "Reshaping German Identities," in After Unity, 8. 16 means for Germany to escape it's own "nation-state prison."3 4 After having acted the model European citizen for decades, firmly orienting itself to Westbindung (binding itself to the West) and rejecting the symbols and practices of past German politics, the enlarged Federal Republic, as the leading financial sponsor and dominant economy of the European Community, suddenly faced apprehension from many of its neighbours (particularly France and Britain) who, especially after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, worried privately that the nascent European Union might evolve, as political scientist Stephen Wood has discussed, into a Trojan Horse for predominantly German national interests.35 The events of 1989-90 and Germany's struggle to redefine itself as a reunified and democratic nation-state, therefore, played out under the watchful gaze of its fellow European states, for whom the spectre of putative German domination of Europe lurked in the shadows.36 Inside Germany itself, the desire to project an identity as a "normal" nation-state and to (re)claim positive historic symbols for the reunified country is thwarted by the unresolved legacies of its disastrous pasts. As film theorist Eric Santner has remarked, there is still tremendous uncertainty and confusion about how to approach the tasks of mourning and anamnesis with regard to fascism, the Holocaust, and now, one must add, 3 4 Edwina S. Campbell, "United Germany in a Uniting Europe," Germany in a New Era, ed. Gary L. Geipel (Indianapolis: Hudson Institute, 1993), 81-89. 3 5 Stephen Wood, Germany, Europe and the Persistence of Nations: Transformation, Interests and Identity, 1989-1996 (Brookfield USA: Ashgate, 1998), 1. 3 6 Wood, 4. See also Beate Neuss, "The European Community: How to Counterbalance the Germans" in German Unification: The Unexpected Challenge, ed. Dieter Grosser (Oxford: Berg, 1992), 136-149; Andrew Markovits and Simon Reich, "Deutschland New Gesicht: Uber deutsches Hegemonie in Europa," Leviathanno. 1 (1992), 15-63; Josef Janning, "A German Europe - A European Germany? On the debate over Germany's foreign policy," International Affairs volume 72, no. 1 (January 1996), 9-32. 17 life under the Stasi state.37 In Berlin, the former nerve centre both of fascist and of state socialist oppression, the remnants - material, emotional, psychic - of past German catastrophes are potent and palpable. And here after 1990, where the former East and West rub up against one another, the sudden coexistence of two very different, indeed antagonistic, narratives of the Nazi and communist pasts - narratives as relayed by the former Federal Republic and the former Democratic Republic — frustrate the city's and state's longing to project a unified identity in the first years after reunification. This highly charged morass of desire and anxiety is present in Berlin, in fact it permeates the city's struggle for redefinition in the first half-decade after reunification, and can indeed be glimpsed in the narrow space between the seams of the city's new facades. The task of this text is to access and explore that space. It is precisely between such seams, I will argue, that Shimon Attie's The Writing on the Wall, the simulated Stadtschloss, and Wrapped Reichstag can be shown to operate, and, like Tacita Dean's mutilated opera programmes, work to either deliberately or unintentionally interrupt and often frustrate Berlin's official narratives, trouble the construction and commodification of the city's urban identity, and make briefly visible it's all too present pasts. Berlin is a city where unusual occurrences have often seemed the norm. This is a place, after all, where the street fronts of apartment blocks were one day in August of 1961 abruptly transformed into a wall (figure 12); where that wall became an endlessly re-paintable canvas (figure 13); and later where that canvas, fragmented and circulated 3 7 See Eric Santner, Stranded Objects: Mourning, Memory, and Film in Postwar Germany (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990), xi-xiii. 18 around the globe, became a souvenir invested wi th near talismanic power (figure 14). In this place, then, there is perhaps noth ing peculiar about the ghostly return o f Jewish residents, the reappearance of a demolished palace, or the enshrouding of undoubtedly the most notorious structure in the city in s h i m m e r i n g metallic fabric. T h e r e is perhaps noth ing extraordinary about these events, but I chose to shape this text around them because they each do a certain work, both at their moments o f realization in Ber l in and within and for this present discussion. E a c h of these temporary installations is site-specific in that it incorporated the physical conditions of its particular location - in every case an unresolved but h ighly potent site within the rapidly changing urban environment - as integral to its production, presentation, and recept ion . 3 8 E a c h enacted a very different kind of performance in the city: Attie's was a solitary, unsanctioned and guerri l la- l ike intervention, the simulated Stadtschloss organized and privately funded by a citizens' initiative, and Wrapped Reichstag was very publ ic ly played out over two decades, debated about and finally authorized (by way of majority vote) by the federal government, executed by an extensive team of volunteers, and observed the w o r l d over as a media sensation. I conceive of m y analysis o f these temporary interventions not as an end in itself, but rather as a vehicle, a means for ga in ing access to tensions and contradictions less clearly articulated in other cultural forms, but all the more powerful for their partial occlusion. I approach such installations, which insert themselves into urban space and force a public (or more precisely, a number of differing and often oppos ing publics) to confront and contend wi th them, not as a separate or separable realm, nor as a mere product o f culture. Rather I understand them as one realm a m o n g many for the product ion and negotiation of social meaning, o f subjects, and of systems 3 8 For a critical discussion and historicization of site-specificity, see Miwon Kwon, One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity. Cambridge, Mass.: M I T Press, 2002. 19 of power that enable and constrain those subjects. Indeed, just as space, as Henri Lefebvre has offered, is both produced by and producing of social and political practice,39 so too the built, ephemeral, and imagined elements of one's urban landscape are inseparable, actively constructing both our material and psychological experiences of the city. Throughout this text, and thus departing from much of the published literature on post-unification Berlin, I attempt to deny the categories of advanced art practice, architecture, and urban planning the autonomy they are often afforded, stressing instead the ways in which they penetrate, appropriate, and often simulate one other. I position Attie's The Writing on the Wall, the canvas Schloss, and Christo's Wrapped Reichstag within a matrix of other cultural production, discourses, and histories. My discussion, therefore, might be said to access what Rosalyn Deutsche has termed a "spatial-cultural discourse," one which "combines ideas about art, architecture, and urban design on the one hand, with theories of the city, social space, and public space, on the other."40 In this way, such temporary installations can be shown to momentarily expose the complexity, to borrow the words of Eric Santner, of what it means to identify oneself as a Berliner, and to utter "ich" and "wir" as a German after reunification with all of the nation's present pasts.41 The construction of a redefined identity involves as much a view backward as it does forwards into the future. How we define ourselves, both as individual subjects and as 3 9 See Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1991). 4 0 Rosalyn Deutsche, Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996), xi. 4 1 Santner, Stranded Objects, xiii. 20 members o f groups, is inextricably bound up with the ways in which we recall and narrate our pasts. As such, the issue o f memory is fundamental to the discussion that wi l l occupy these pages. As Andreas Huyssen attests in his influential 1995 text Twilight Memories: Marking Time in a Culture of Amnesia, western society as it approached this most recent mi l l enn ium was one increasingly obsessed with the desire to remember . 4 2 F o r archaeologist Jan A s s m a n n , who has written extensively on cultural memory , it is the increased importance o f electronic media and artificial m e m o r y storage which forces us to now reconceptualize m e m o r y once again, and which points to the now oft-mentioned sentiment that we have entered a period o f "post-histoire", a belatedness wi th regard to history that demands that we comment upon and work through the past rather than submit to experience. 4 3 T h i s backward gaze in academic and popular culture is not accompanied by a rush o f renewal and opt imism of the future as it was in previous centuries, Huyssen continues, and is not s imply a function o f a postmodern sensibility or o f a "fin de siecle syndrome," but rather it is a sign o f a deepening sense o f crisis "of that structure o f temporality that marked the age o f modernity wi th its celebration o f the new as Utopian _ . . . _ , " 4 4 one which suggests that our culture is "terminally i l l wi th amnesia." 4 5 Indeed, since the mid-1980s, there has been an explosion o f blockbuster museums, memorials, and national heritage celebrations and initiatives throughout the western world . "A museal sensibility," Huyssen argues, "seems to be occupying ever larger chunks o f everyday culture and 4 2 Andreas Huyssen, "Introduction: Time and Cultural Memory at our F i n de Siecle," Twilight Memories: Marking Time in a Culture of Amnesia (London: Routledge, 1995), 1-9. 4 3 Jan Assmann, Das kulturelle Geddchtnis: Schrift, Erinnerung, undpolitische Identitdt infrilhen Hochkulturen, second Edition (Munich: Beck, 1997), 11. 4 4 Huyssen, Twilight Memories, 6. 4 5 Huyssen, 1. 21 experience."46 Across the humanities and social sciences, scholarly debate about memory, repression, and trauma has developed rapidly over the last two decades, punctuated by the writings of John Gillis, David Lowenthal, Pierre Nora, and Simon Schama among many others.47 In part this literature is in response to western culture's voracious appetite for the past, prompted also by shifting definitions of history during the late 1970s and early 1980s, with interrogations into the constructedness of historical discourse by such diverse thinkers as Michel Foucault, Michel de Certeau, and Stephen Greenblatt,48 as well as the 1980 translation into English of Maurice Halbwachs' seminal 1950 study on collective memory, La Memoire collective.4'9 What has resulted is a now expansive cross-disciplinary corpus of literature, with new periodicals devoted entirely to publishing research on the study of memory,50 as well as prominent journals bringing focus to the subject in special issues.51 The term "memory" is complex and ambiguous, referring at once to the recollected image or experience as well as the act of retrieval itself. It might be said to be both the "scene \_SchauplatzJ' of the past, to quote Walter Benjamin, as well as "the medium of 4 6 Huyssen, 14. 4 7 John R. Gillis, Commemorations: The Politics of National Identity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994); David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); Pierre Nora and Lawrence D. Kritzman, eds., Realms of Memory: Rethinking the French Past (New York: Columbia University, 1996-8); Simon Schama, Landscape and Memory (New York: A.A. Knopf, 1995). 4 8 See for example Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Vintage Books, 1979); Michel de Certeau, The Writing of History, trans. Tom Conley (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988); Stephen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980). 4 9 Maurice Halbwachs, La Memoire collective, ed. Jeanne Alexander (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1950). English trans., The Collective Memory. Trans. Francis J. Ditter, Jr. and Vida Yazdy Ditter (New York: Harper and Row, 1980). 5 0 For example, see the periodical publications Memory; History and Memory; and Memory Studies. 5 1 See for example the special issue of History and Anthropology 2 (London: Harwood Academic Publisher, 1986); Representations 26 (1989) Special issue: "Memory and Counter Memory," ed. Natalie Zemon and Randolph Starn. 22 what has been experienced the way the earthen realm is the medium in which dead cities lie buried."52 It was Maurice Halbwachs who insisted upon the social constructedness of memory: the fact that, much like the acquisition of language, we build and recall our memories not as isolated individuals but as socialized members of a particular group or groups. Halbwachs' work, while criticized for its implicit assumption of a Durkheimian collective consciousness, is significant for contemporary scholarly discussions about memory (this present project included) for its exploration of remembering (and forgetting) as both socially and spatially framed. As Liliane Weissberg has recently stated, "_Halbwachs'~J insistence on language rather than event, on the constructedness of any recollection, indeed strikes a chord with the concepts of discourse developed by Foucault and recent formulations of cultural studies that take their cue from poststructuralist thought."53 Collective memory, according to Halbwachs, both adjusts to, and shapes, a system of present-day beliefs,54 and events can be recalled only if they (or if their mode of narrative) fit within a framework of contemporary interests. Memory, therefore, is not a static storage place for information that can be retrieved later on, but rather is active and situated in the present. Cultural memory - the collective understandings of the past as they are held by a people in a given social and historical context - is thus always performed, as Mieke Bai has argued, even if, in many instances, such acts are not consciously and willfully contrived.55 John Eisner expresses it in this way: 5 2 Walter Benjamin, Berliner Chronik: Gesammelte Schriften (Franfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1972). 5 3 Liliane Weissberg, "Introduction," Cultural Memory and the Construction of Identity. Ed. Dan Ben-Amos and Liliane Weissberg (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999), 15. 5 4 Halbwachs, The Collective Memory, 188. 5 5 See Mieke Bai, "Introduction," in Acts of Memory, vii-viii; see also Paul Connerton How Societies Remember (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989). 23 What matters _ is not that _a particular account of the past] be correct by our standards or anyone else's but that it be convincing to the particular group of individuals _..."] for whom it serves as an explanation of the world they inhabit What matters about any particular version of history is that it be meaningful to the collective subjectivities and self-identities of the specific group which it addresses. In other words, we are not concerned with 'real facts' or even a coherent methodology, but rather with the consensus of assumptions and prejudices shared by the historian _.. .~J and his audience.56 Halbwachs' theory of collective memory also placed emphasis on space or site as a crucial element in mnemonic formation and recall. As he suggests, The group's image of its external milieu and its stable relationships with this environment becomes paramount in the idea it forms of itself, permeating every element of its consciousness, moderating and governing its evolution.57 The close relationship between memory and space, explored by Francis Yates in her 1966 study The Art of Memory,58 is further pursued by the French historian Pierre Nora, in his multi-volume exploration of the construction of the French past, published in English as Realms of Memory in 1996.5 9 In his introduction (first published in English in Representations in 1989), Nora introduces the now frequently cited term lieux de memoire or "sites of memory," which he defines as spaces where memory is accumulated, "crystallizes and secretes itself."60 5 6 John Eisner, "From the pyramids to Pausanias and Piglet: monuments, travel and writing," in Art and Text in Ancient Greek Culture, eds. S. Goldhill and R. Osborne (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 226. 5 7 Halbwachs, 130. 5 8 Yates opens her text with a discussion of the "method of loci" or ars memoriae as it was known in the classical world, the strategy of recall orators would employ to remember long speeches and lectures, wherein one would visualize a space or architectural site and mentally revisit each area of the site in order to recall the specific elements of the speech. See Frances Yates, The Art of Memory (London and Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966.) 59 Pierre Nora and Lawrence D. Kritzman, eds., Realms of Memory: Rethinking the French Past, trans. Arthur Goldhammer (New York: Columbia University, 1996-8). 6 0 Pierre Nora, "Between Memory and History: Pes Lieux de Memoire," Representations 26 (1989), 7. 24 These sites work to order and secure notions of the (in his writing, specifically French) past. According to Nora, lieux de memoire have emerged because real milieux de memoire, or "environments of memory," have disappeared. Milieux de memoire together make up that array of rituals, sites, ideas, and traditions that French national culture no longer has the capacity to sustain, and he mourns the loss of such environments in which, according to his argument, experience and recollection can take place. Nora, like Halbwachs before him, makes a sharp distinction between history and memory, as between his concepts of lieux and milieux de memoire, but simultaneously exposes their changing relationship to one another.6' "Memory and history, far from being synonymous, appear now to be in fundamental opposition," He asserts. Memory is life, borne by living societies founded in its name. It remains in permanent evolution, open to the dialectic of remembering and forgetting, unconscious of its successive deformations, vulnerable to manipulation and appropriation, susceptible to being long dormant and periodically revived. History, on the other hand, is the reconstruction, always problematic and incomplete, of what is no longer. Memory is a perpetually actual phenomenon, a bond tying us to the eternal present; history is a representation of the past.6 2 Yet there is a certain slippage and lack of clarity in the way that Nora defines and deploys these concepts which, as Hue-Tam Ho Tai observes in her review of Realms of Memory, allow him to make claims that appear at times to contradict one another.63 Nora's notion of lieux de memoire is an evocative one, and the term has rapidly migrated from its original application (French history) to other disciplines and areas, in much the same way, Tai notes, as did Benedict Anderson's idea of "imagined communities," 6 1 See Liliane Weissberg, "Introduction," in Liliane Weissberg and Dan Ben-Amos, eds., Cultural Memory and the Construction of Identity (Detroit: Wayne University Press, 1999), 17. 6 2 "Nora, "Between Memory and History," 8. 6 3 Hue-Tam Ho Tai, "Remembered Realms: Pierre Nora and French National Memory," The Journal of 'American History volume 106, number 3 (June 2001), 907. 25 emerging at about the same time.64 There are a number of problems with Nora's claims, however, which have been perpetuated in subsequent scholarship on memory and memorial practices, including much of that written about contemporary Germany. Nora avows that history is made necessary when a community no longer "lives in memory" but rather becomes conscious of the "pastness" of the past and requires the aid of written documents to recall it. He traces milieux de memoire back to seemingly simple and "authentic" cultures (such as peasant life), and to a time before the advent of mass movements and a world economy, in a way which suggests that only the modernized, industrialized West as "history," while other, more "primitive" societies, have "culture." There is a lamenting tone to his argument, one which, as John Bodnar argues, gives evidence of regret over what has been lost and "a hint that his task is in part one of recovery": lieux de memoire then come into being as milieux de memoire disappear. "Gone is the time when major events were celebrated simultaneously throughout the country at identical sites with identical rituals and processions,"65 Nora states, suggesting that national memory transcends the boundaries of race, class, gender, and locality. Absent from this claim is the notion that memory - localized, diffuse, and polysemic - might be understood as undermining nationalizing, totalizing projects and the narratives of dominant groups and oppressive states. Unlike the state of symbiosis that Nora seeks to restore, this project contends that remembering (and forgetting) is always performed in an active state of tension. I follow W.J.T. Mitchell's assertion that memory "provide(s) something more like a site of cultural labour, a body of textual formations that has to be worked through 6 4 Tai, 908. 6 5 Pierre Nora, Realms of Memory (volume III), 614-5. 26 interminably."66 Counter to Nora's claims, memory is never a direct representation of the past; "representation," as Mitchell suggests, "not only 'mediates' our knowledge but obstructs, fragments, and negates that knowledge."67 I agree with Mitchell in his suggestion that memory is not interesting for what it tells us, but rather for what it hides from us. Memory is always politicized, in that it is a process by which a subject narrates a past, explains experience and thereby gains power over the world he or she inhabits; it is a process of meaning creation that is both selective and akin to a facade. In this way too, memory is always in an unstable state, actively coming into being, and open to contestation, undermining, disavowal, and deferral, as much challenging any notions of "collectivity" as constructing them. In Germany, the task of constructing and narrating a collective past and national culture in the face of the catastrophic events of the Second World War is tremendously contentious and tortured. Official memory of the crimes committed in the name of the German nation-state during the Third Reich shifted dramatically throughout the decades following the war, and from the German Democratic Republic to the Federal Republic; in the various Germanys, as elsewhere, there is never any direct access to the past. In the East, particularly in the immediate post-war years as I discuss in Chapter One, the memory of Nazi crimes legitimated the imposition of a second German dictatorship, whereas in the West, silence about those crimes was understood as crucial to the establishment of a then fragile western democracy.68 Memory in West Germany B 6 W.J.T. Mitchell, Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 188. 6 7 Mitchell, 188. 6 8 See Karen Till, The New Berlin, 20; and Jeffrey Herf, Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys (London: Harvard University Press, 1997). 27 exploded into the public sphere in the early 1970s with a flood of images and accusatory autobiographies, occasioned, as the cultural historian Caroline Wiedmer relates, "by the loosening of social strictures and the coming-of-age of a generation only indirectly touched by the war and its codes of silence."69 In the decade preceding the fall of the Wall, memorial politics continued to shift, often radically, in the direction of what Geoffrey H. Hartman has called "anti-memory - a representation that takes the colours of memory but blocks its retrieval."70 Questions over the role the past was to play in the present continued unabated, however, particularly in light of numerous grim fifty-year anniversaries of events of World War II, perhaps the most notorious of which erupted over Ronald Reagan and Chancellor Helmut Kohl's disastrous visit to the Bitburg military cemetery in 1985 7 1 and the so-called Historikerstreit (Historians' Debate) of 19 86 . 7 2 After reunification in 1990, German memory politics are further complicated by 6 9 Caroline Wiedmer, The Claims of Memory: Representations of the Holocaust in Contemporary Germany and France (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1999), 4. 7 0 See Geoffrey Hartman, "Introduction: Darkness Visible," in Hartman, ed., Holocaust Remembrance: The Shapes of Memory (Cambridge: Basil Blackwell, 1995), 10. 7 1 During preparations for his official visit to the Federal Republic in May of 1985, American President Ronald Reagan had expressed his interest to visit the former concentration camp at Dachau, but the Bundesregierung did not think it appropriate in view of the occasion. Against the advice of his advisors, Reagan was persuaded by the Federal Chancellery to accompany Chancellor Helmut Kohl to the Bitburg military cemetery and lay down a wreath. Controversy exploded when it was discovered that several members of the Waffen-SS were buried at the cemetery along with fallen Wehrmacht soldiers. Aiming to foster reconciliation between former enemies, the debacle only further fueled those in Germany critical of Kohl's desires to blur the boundary between perpetrator and victim, and to normalize Germany's Nazi past. Reagan's actions were strongly admonished by the American Jewish community, particularly Elie Wiesel. 7 2 The Historikerstreit (Historians Dispute) was an intellectual and political controversy which erupted on 6 June, 1986 in West Germany, centering on the place of the Holocaust in German history. The debate opened in response to the conservative philosopher and historian Ernst Nolte's article "Vergangenheit, die nicht vergehen will' ("The Past that Refuses to Pass") in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In this article, Nolte argued that the Nazi death camps were a defensive reaction to Stalin's gulags, and that the gulags were the greater and original horror. Leftist philosopher Jurgen Habermas responded that such an argument represented a kind of "settling of damages of the Holocaust." In his 11 July article in Die Zeit entitled "Recent Apologetic Tendencies in Our History," Habermas charged that several prominent German historians, such Nolte, Michael Sturmer, and Andreas Hillgruber, were attempting to whitewash German history. Such revisionism, as Anson Rabinbach has offered, was a reaction 28 the sudden confrontation - indeed the violent collision - in the enlarged Federal Republic, of two very different memorial cultures and ways of narrating the past, as well as revelations, for much of the population, about the former East German Ministerium fur Staatssicherheit (or Stasi) and the workings of the Socialist Unity Party (SED), debates over how to remember the now defunct socialist state. The legacies of both the Third Reich and state socialism in contemporary Germany continue to be negotiated through parliamentary debate, media representations, public art competitions, tourism, and popular protest actions. That this process remains active and controversial demonstrates just how politically fraught national imaginaries in Germany continue to be, despite — or more likely because of — the increasing temporal distance between contemporary German society and its National Socialist past.73 Efforts to work through the legacies of that past, in Germany as elsewhere, continue to become more conflicted as the perpetrator generation dies out, as Eric Santner has suggested, and as "more properly juridical issues of guilt and complicity yield to more inchoate questions of historical memory and of the mediation and transmittal of cultural traditions and identities."74 The task, then, Santner suggests, becomes the very difficult one of "integrating damage, loss, disorientation and decenteredness into a transformed structure of identity."75 "against what they claimed were decades of a 'historical consensus' in which Auschwitz had become such a compulsory emblem of German history that it blocked any positive image of the past." See Anson Rabinbach, "Response to Karin Brecht," 325. For a reprint of these debates, see Ernst Piper, ed. "Historikerstreit": Die Dokumentation der Kontroverse urn die Einzigartigkeit der nationalsozialistschen Judenvernichtung (Munich: Piper, 1987), translated into English by James Knowlton and Truett Cates as Forever in the shadow of Hitler?: original documents of the Historikerstreit, the controversy concerning the singidarity of the Holocaust (Atlantic Highlands, N.J. : Humanities Press, 1993). 7 3 Till, The New Berlin, 17. 7 4 Santner, Stranded Objects, xiii. 7 5 Santner, xiii. 29 The work of recalling the past is described by many writers as akin to the task of the archaeologist, whose role is to excavate the traces of what has gone before. In Walter Benjamin's own reflections on his childhood years spent in Berlin, he draws upon this metaphor, musing: He who seeks to approach his own buried past must conduct himself like a man digging...He must not be afraid to return again and again to the same matter...For the matter itself is only a deposit, a stratum, which yields only to the most meticulous examination what constitutes the real reassure hidden within the earth: the images, severed from all earlier associations, that stand — like precious fragments or torsos in a collector's gallery - in the prosaic rooms of our later understanding.76 The archaeologist digs below the surface of the earth to reveal evidence of past life, evidence which of course exists, as Benjamin suggests, not as a coherent whole, but only as scattered and disintegrating fragments. The oft-repeated descriptors of Berlin in the first years after 1990 as "Europe's largest construction site,"77 with its forest of cranes, its gaping excavations, and its powerful earth-movers clawing away at the sandy soil, seem to beg the use of this metaphor (figure 15). Indeed in reunified Berlin, the past is often quite literally "unearthed" along with the sandy soil, and frequently at very inopportune moments, as my discussion on Chapter Three will show. The metaphor of archaeology is a compelling one, as cultural geographer Karen Till suggests. "Through the material authority of a landscape," she offers, A particular understanding of the past is believed to be uncovered and made visible. Simon Schama writes that some myths about landscape endure through the centuries, functioning like a 'ghostly outline.. .beneath the superficial covering of the contemporary' and accessed by 'digging down through layers of memories and representations toward the primary bedrock.'78 7 6 Walter Benjamin, "Berlin Chronicle," in Reflections, edited and with an introduction by Peter Demetz (New York: Schocken Books, 1978), 26. 7 7 See Rogier, "Growing Pains;" and Regine Robin, Berlin chantiers (Paris: Stock, 2001). 7 8 Karen Till, The New Berlin, 10. 30 The archaeological metaphor lends a spatiality to conceptions of the past, locating time in clearly defined layers, while implying that a "deep, underlying 'essence,' an unchanging reality" exists beneath stratified layers of history. However, as Till cautions, one cannot simply "dig down vertically" to recall or recover the past. As one continues to search, "the past becomes a ghostlike presence. The past is never settled, sedimented, neatly arranged in horizontal layers."79 There is a certain materialism implied in this reading, too, which cannot account for other ways in which the past -fleetingly, immaterially, and often untraceably - is visited upon the city. Certainly, the three ephemeral installations that form the focus of this text confront their Berlin publics with a return of the past in ways that cannot be aptly described through the notion of an excavation or unearthing; they disrupt space for a brief time, and then are gone, leaving no visible traces, but only their own after-image, the memory of their own disruption. Rather than drawing upon the practice of archaeology to suggest the ways in which Berlin's pasts are repeatedly and often painfully encountered and performed in the post-1990 present, the trope of spectrality will haunt the pages of this text. The spectre functions for me as a kind of interpretive device, a means through which to suggest the ways in which these ephemeral public installations operate in and for the reunified city. Put another way, and after Michel de Certeau in his conscious calling up of the etymological origins of the term,8 0 the spectre works in this context as a metaphor, a way 7 9 Till, 10 . 8 0 My thanks to Sherry McKay for reminding me of this passage in Michel de Certeau's The Practice of Everyday Life. 31 of traveling from one point to another, of drawing analogies between the representations that form the focus of my discussion, and of linking different temporal, spatial, and discursive moments together. There are a number of ways in which the notion of the spectre operates for my argument. Like the temporary interventions around which this text revolves, hauntings are frequently unexpected and unannounced: ghosts tend to make unwanted, unsolicited appearances without warning. The viewer is often unprepared for their sudden appearance, which has the power to provoke feelings of horror, anguish, or disbelief. Their departure leaves us in uneasy anticipation of their return. Ghosts are terrifying because their presence both relies upon and undermines our post-Enlightenment culture's very ontological foundation: they invade our vision, casting doubt on the clarity of our scopic regime (and are notoriously resistant to technologies such as the camera). Ephemeral or immaterial, like Attie's projected images, the canvas Schloss, and Christo's wrapping, spectres leave no permanent imprint on the spaces and subjects they visit other than a memory of the haunting itself. But ghosts frighten not only by destabilizing our cultural assumptions. They are effective (and affective) precisely because of the intimacy of the experience. Haunting is subjective, feeding on the specificity of our deepest fears, bringing them, seemingly, to life. But in reality, the ghost is just ether, and whatever hovering, indeterminate form we see is nothing other than a representation of our own anxieties. In this way, then - and as I will argue throughout this discussion, like the site-specific installations themselves - spectres have the potential to perform a kind of critical work in and for the present. According to sociologist Avery Gordon, the ghost is a social figure though which something lost can 32 be made to appear before our eyes, a way of coming to know the traumas that accompany modern life, even though such traumas may be socially repressed.81 We might regard a haunting, therefore, as a means of revealing something which would otherwise remain silent or invisible. Embedded also within the action of haunting is the notion of a return, a coming back, a revisiting, often repeatedly, and to the same sites and subjects. Indeed, a ghost's first appearance is always a return of sorts ("The spectre it always a revenant it begins by coming back"82). In its very structure, haunting implies a deformation of temporal linearity, a certain collapsing of time: ghosts arrive from the past and appear in the present.83 Ghosts do not just represent reminders (or the living-on) of the past; in their fictional representation, they very often demand something of the future. In this way, to quote British scholars Peter Buse and Andrew Stott, "ghosts are a problem for historicism precisely because they disrupt our sense of a linear teleology in which the consecutive movement of history passes untroubled through the generations."84 Indeed, in the opening of Specters of Marx, the text in which Jacques Derrida attempts to confront Marx's writings and the legacy of his thought after the collapse of state communism in central Europe, the philosopher invokes the figure of the ghost (in fact, ghosts in the plural: that of Hamlet's father and the one which haunts the opening passage of Marx's Communist Manifesto) to suggest how its anticipated return may be mobilized on behalf of a deconstruction of all historicisms that are grounded in a rigid 8 1 See Avery Gordon, Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997). 8 2 Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx, 11. 8 3 Peter Buse and Andrew Stott, eds., Ghosts: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, History (Great Britain: MacMillan Press Ltd., 1999), 1. 8 4 Buse and Stott, 14. 33 sense of chronology (Derrida invents the word hauntologf5). "In the figure of the ghost," Buse and Stott continue, "we see that past and present cannot be neatly separated from one another, as any idea of the present is always constituted through the difference and deferral of the past, as well as assumptions of the future."86 "Haunting is historical, to be sure," Derrida writes, "but it is not dated, it is never docilely given a date in the chain of presents, day after day according to the instituted order of the calendar."87 The notion of le revenant (the thing which returns), to use Derrida's term of choice, encapsulates well deconstructive concerns about the impossibility of conceptually solidifying the past, and about the ways in which contemporary iterations are always already haunted with past structures of meaning.88 The spaces of contemporary Berlin could also be said to be haunted with past structures of meaning: inflected with and informed by the traces - perhaps invisible, forgotten, or repressed - of previous social and cultural practice and visual forms. As I will argue throughout this text, temporary interventions in the city's public realm, such as The Writing on the Wall, the canvas Stadtschloss, and Wrapped Reichstag, function as the provocateurs of such hauntings, the impetus for such uneasy confrontations with that which is no longer visible, for the slippage between past, present, and future. There is another sense, too, in which the trope of spectrality functions in this text. My interests in the cultural production of post-unification Berlin can be situated, broadly speaking, within the growing discussion (articulated by Hal Foster, Andreas Huyssen, Anthony Vidler and others) that considers the shifting stakes for advanced artistic and 8 5 Derrida, 9. 8 6 Buse and Stott, 10-11. 8 7 Derrida, 3. 8 8 See Buse and Stott, 11. 34 architectural production (and its varied audiences) within a globalized world stage, and a post-1989 and post-Maastricht treaty Europe. In my analyses of Attie, Christo, and Tacita Dean (as well as works by Christian Boltanski, Sophie Calle, Hans Haacke, and Krzyzstof Wodizcko, which also surface in this discussion), I follow Foster in his recent suggestion of a "spectral" quality or "shadowing," that informs much contemporary art. This "spectral" quality is Foster's way of explaining the varied strategies, taken up by certain visual artists, to evoke the condition of both "coming-after" in the doubled aftermath of post/modernism and the neo/avant-garde, a coming after of previous genres in a way that "renders them at once archaic and exotic, strangely animated,"89 as well as a certain "living-on" of art after the so-called "end" of art.9 0 For these artists working in Germany, there is an added sense of "coming-after," I would say, one that informs the criticality of their production, which is brought about by the complexity of working in a society that must negotiate an identity after the varied and layered traumas of the Holocaust, the Second World War, and most recently the collapse of state socialism in the East. The notion of the spectre also points in the direction of Freudian psychoanalysis (to be sure, Freud had his own ghosts), for just as the spectre undermines any desired compartmentalization of past, present, and future, there is no past reality in psychic time and space. The psychic event, whether actual or imagined, produces real effects in the present. To quote Judith Butler, What are called 'moments' are not distinct and equivalent units of time, for the 'past' will be the accumulation and congealing of such 'moments' 8 9 Hal Foster, "This Funeral is for the Wrong Corpse," Design and Crime (and Other Diatribes) (London and New York: Verso, 2002), 134. 9 0 See Foster, 123-143. 35 to the point of their indistinguishability. But it will also consist of that which is refused from construction, the domains of the repressed, forgotten, and the irrecoverably foreclosed.91 Throughout this text the language of Freudian psychoanalysis helps to inform and illuminate my ideas, to allow me access into this multiplicity of spaces. I concur with Caroline Wiedmer in her statement that, "more than any other contemporary discourse, psychoanalysis manages to grasp the issues at stake in the confluence of memory work, identity-formation, memorial politics, and mourning."92 Psychoanalytic theory has factored centrally in much post-war scholarship (both German and English) that attempts to understand and account for the catastrophe of Nazi totalitarianism and the Holocaust, as well as its unresolved legacies in German society.93 Taken up subsequently by such diverse scholars as Erich Fromm, Dominick LaCapra, Saul Friedlander, Eric Santner, and Susan Linville, the initiating force in this focus within Germany was undoubtedly Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlichs' 1967 publication Die Vnfdhigkeit zu trauern: Grundlagen kollektiven Verhaltens (in English The Inability to Mourn: Principles of Collective Behavior). Appearing in immediate advance of the so-called second generation's demand for an open confrontation with their parents' complicity with Nazi crimes, The Inability to Mourn's compelling thesis charged that the population of the post-war Federal Republic could not properly mourn the victims of 9 1 Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex," (New York and London: Routledge, 1993), 245. 9 2 Wiedmer, The Claims of Memory, 8. 9 3 See especially Dominick LaCapra, Representing the Holocaust: History, Theory, Trauma (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994); Saul Friedlander, "Trauma, Memory, and Transference," in Geoffrey H. Hartman, ed., Holocaust Remembrance: The Shapes of Memory (Cambridge: Basil Blackwell, 1995), 252-265; "Introduction," in Friedlander, ed., Probing the Limits of Representation: Nazism and the "Final Solution" (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992), 1-21; Eric Santner in Stranded Objects and "History beyond the Pleasure Principle: Some Thoughts on the Representation of Trauma," in Friedlander, ed., Probing the Limits of Representation, 143-154. 36 National Socialism because they had refused to first work through the more primitive "narcissistic injury" represented by the traumatic shattering of imaginary wholeness promised by the ideology of Nazism and represented by Adolf Hitler as paternal figure.94 Continued failure to perform this labour would result, according to the Mitscherlichs, in a passing down to subsequent generations of not guilt but rather the denial of guilt, and not loss so much as, to quote Eric Santner, "lost opportunities to mourn losses."95 The Mitscherlichs' approach continues to be heavily debated, particularly their masculinist focus on the cult of the Fuhrer as a father surrogate, their subscription to western humanist fictions of melancholia96 the complex status of their work as a cultural product,97 and their refusal to engage in therapeutic practice in favour of more abstract societal and cultural critique.98 Nonetheless the phrase "the inability to mourn" quickly gained nearly universal acceptance in Germany (some would argue it is still a ritualistically repeated public cliche), and despite the text's shortcomings, as historian Anson Rabinbach asserts in response to a recent charge against the authors, No other book so eloquently articulated and expressed the mood of dismay and revulsion of the German 68ers against the failure of the previous generation for not engaging in any meaningful confrontation of the Nazi past, for not acknowledging German crimes except in the most perfunctory and abstract terms, and above all for perpetuating a stifling culture of provincialism, quasi-stoical rigidity, obedience, and political authoritarianism, - precisely the values which, according to the Mitscherlichs, the Nazis themselves promoted.99 9 4 See Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich, The Inability to Mourn: Principles of Collective Behavior, trans. Eric Mosbachs (New York: Grove, 1967). 9 5 Eric Santner, Stranded Objects, 34. 9 6 See in particular Susan Linville, Feminism, Film, Fascism: Women's Auto/Biograpphical Film in Postwar Germany (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998), 4; and Santner, Stranded Objects. 9 7 See Linville, 4. 9 8 See Karen Brecht, "In the Aftermath of Nazi-Germany: Alexander Mitscherlich and Psychoanalysis: Legend and Legacy," American Imago volume 52, No. 3 (Fall 1995), 291-312. 9 9 Anson Rabinbach. "Response to Karin Brecht: 'In the Aftermath of Nazi-Germany: Alexander Mitscherlich and Psychoanalysis: Legend and Legacy,'" American Imago volume 52, No. 3 (Fall 1995), 316. 37 In fact, as Rabinbach notes, an attack in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as recently as 1993, which scornfully dismissed The Inability to Mourn as a "collection of contradictions,"100 merely exposes the degree to which these issues are still at stake in the construction of post-1990 German identity, and how significant the Mitscherlichs' account remains in the German social imaginary. I acknowledge that by drawing upon the language of psychoanalysis in my own argument, I position myself along this particular scholarly trajectory. I acknowledge too that Freudian psychoanalysis is a highly problematic discourse, a product of late nineteenth-century Viennese bourgeois culture, and in this way a doctrine incapable of seeing beyond the "ideological horizon" delimited precisely by the interests of Freud's own class.101 Indeed, as Susan Linville articulates, while post-structuralism may be correct "in asserting that psychoanalysis 'speaks us' - produces us, creates us - feminists and others know that psychoanalysis also leaves many of us misspoken or simply unspoken altogether."102 My aim, however, is not to psychoanalyze the city of Berlin, or its inhabitants, or those of reunified Germany as a whole. Neither is my interest to make yet another argument for the "exceptional" nature of the German nation-state, and it's so-called Sonderweg or "special path" through nineteenth- and twentieth-century history.103 Rather I would 1 0 0 See Eckhard Henscheid, "The Inability to Mourn or Something Like That: A Particular Chapter in the Cultural History of Misunderstanding," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 1993. Cited in Rabinbach, 314. 1 0 1 Stephen Frosh, The Politics of Psychoanalysis: an introduction to Freudian and Post-Freudian Theory (London: Macmillan Education Ltd., 1987), 10. 1 0 2 Susan Linville, Feminism, Film, Fascism, 20. 1 0 3 Proponents of this controversial theory in German historiography argue that Germany followed it's own special path through history, separate from that of other European states, 38 stress that my use of psychoanalysis here, and the issues that I hope to bring to relief in part through it, can and should be applied to other cultural spaces, and other cities, and other political moments. Throughout this text I draw upon the language of psychoanalysis as a theoretical tool, a means for visualizing the unseen workings of city space, a way of thinking through past, present, future. Indeed Freud's very spatial way of thinking through the "architecture" of the human mind might prove especially conducive to an analysis of events within city space. As psychoanalyst and scholar Diane O'Donoghue's contends, Freud's notions of psychic functioning were deeply indebted to "the 'mapping' of topography, strata, and site - terms shared by neuroanatomy, archaeology, and art history - not to 'fix' a locale, but rather to reveal its capacity to hold simultaneously layers of concealed and, at times, displaced meanings."104 As Tacita Dean's found opera programmes so provocatively suggest, both in their materiality as historical documents and as objects produced, forgotten, and then resurfacing within the space of the city, layers of concealed and displaced meaning hover upon and behind the surfaces of reunified Berlin. However, there is another reason for which I chose to open this discussion with the enigmatic images of Dean's Die Regimentstochter. The manner in which I came to define this dissertation project was not unlike the artist's search in the flea markets of Berlin. Like Dean's modus operandi, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Sonderweg view, in particular, contends that the particular development of German history virtually ensured that Nazism was bound to occur. For a recent text which takes up the Sonderweg argument, see Daniel Goldhagen's controversial book, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (New York: Knopf, 1996). 1 0 4 Diane O'Donoghue, "Sites of Displacement: Visualities of the Freudian Unconscious," unpublished paper, 31" Congress of the Comite international d'histoire de I'art, Montreal, 23-27 August, 2004. 39 m y research involved a k ind of travel through the city (in m y case, both the actual, physical one, and the ones constructed in discourse), and through it the encounter o f seemingly discrete events, spaces, and images, which I discern as together activating a certain set o f problems confronting reunified Ber l in and G e r m a n y . It could be said that this way of w o r k i n g recalls that o f the rag-picker, who sifted through the trash bins of nineteenth-century Paris in search of cast-off garments and rags to be salvaged and resold. F o r F r e n c h poet Charles Baudelaire and other members of the early avant -garde , 1 0 5 the rag-picker was a critical figure who, in operat ing from the margins of modern urban culture, fed off the consumptive desires of the bourgeoisie. H e or she had the uncanny ability to see in everyday phenomena something remarkable that had escaped recognit ion by others. In rescuing the "refuse of modernity," as scholar D a v i d F r i s b y remarks, "the most vacuous fragments, those which represent 'an epoch's judgment upon itself,'" 1 0 6 the rag-picker is the only modern subject who has access to memory. H i s or her role is to "excavate and remember ," 1 0 7 and in reassembling the cast-off detritus o f commodi ty culture "in a context that r e n d e r £ s ~ ] their mosaic intel l ig ible ," 1 0 8 the rag-picker causes discomfort for the bourgeoisie, functioning for Baudelaire as the flea market did for the M a x Ernst ; m a k i n g visible what bourgeois society has repressed, showing them the very stuff o f their culture that they do not wish to see. T h e role o f both T a c i t a D e a n as artist and myself, not unlike that o f Baudelaire's rag-picker, is in part to select and make visible the spectres, that which is 1 0 5 See Charles Baudelaire, "The Ragpicker's Wine," in The Flowers of Evil (originally published in 1857), translated by James M c G o w a n (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 140-141. 106 David Frisby, Fragments of Modernity: Theories of Modernity in the Work ofSimmel, Kracauer and Benjamin (Cambridge-. M I T Press, 1986), 186. 1 0 7 Graeme Gilloch, Myth and Metropolis: Walter Benjamin and the City (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996), 166. 1 0 8 David Frisby, 186. 40 uncomfortable or overlooked, and which reveals something about post-unification Berlin. And yet there are important ways, of course, in which my project differs from Dean's tactics in Die Regimentstochter. Tacita Dean (true to her name, it appears) presents the facsimiles of these recovered programmes silently, without interpretation and without critique. My role, conversely, is to interpret and analyze, to build a narrative around these sites and events. And just as the mutilation of the opera programmes, whether a quiet act of resistance or revisionism, was an intensely private, possibly even secretive one (in all likelihood known only to the cutter him or herself), so Dean's project, with its limited publication, its circulation to already initiated art audiences, is a private act of sorts. My text, on the other hand, is instead concerned with public spaces, where the shock of encounter is more intensely confrontational, and with the nature of publics themselves, where articulated statements are more risky. It is perhaps here, in these public realms, in the uneven, heavily contested built space of the city, traversed by different publics with divergent and antagonistic claims to space and memory, where the avant-garde strategies of the flea market and the philosophical figure of the rag-picker reveal themselves to be most volatile, most provocative, most unintentionally and radically revealing. The very real potential of the flea market to profoundly destabilize, to bring about the return of the repressed, was made all too clear in Berlin during the spring of 1989, months before the collapse of the Wall, when a rather unwelcome flea market suddenly appeared in the western half of the city. Since January of that year, the Polish 41 government had been relaxing strictures on the movement of its citizens, and Poles had begun coursing through the divided city's borders at weekends with all manner of wares — outmoded versions of western consumer goods — to sell to their more affluent neighbors. In less than a week, they rapidly repopulated the deserted and weed-choked wasteland along the Wall adjacent to the former and future Potsdamer Platz (the busiest commercial corner in Europe before the war and the future site of the Daimler-Benz headquarters), several hundred metres from the Brandenburg Gate, where Reagan had made his urgent appeal to Gorbachev. For many West Berliners, the sudden arrival of this Polenmarkt was disquieting: although the focus of bitter protests for decades, some felt threatened by the border's new porosity, and several expressed outright that the problem with the Wall was that it was not solid enough. "To many West Berliners, the area had acquired a slightly 'Asian' look," writer Peter Schneider reflects with characteristic sarcasm. "It was as though overnight, Berlin had slid some three hundred miles to the east."109 In an attempt to legislate the spontaneous flea market into non-existence, Berlin authorities prohibited travelers into West Germany from bringing with them any goods that could be sold on the black market, and fenced off the empty space next to the Berlin Wall, forbidding the congregation of people there, thereby creating, in effect, a double of the Wall itself. But the sudden appearance of this Polenmarkt reminded West Berliners of something they had forgotten, namely, that their half-city was twice as far from West Germany as it was from Poland. Thus rather than the fall of the Berlin Wall itself (with the self-congratulatory claims of openness and fraternity that immediately 1 0 3 Peter Schneider, The German Comedy: Scenes of Life After the Wall, translated by Philip Boehm and Leigh Hafrey (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1991), 4-5. 42 followed in its wake), it was events like the Polenmarkt of early 1989 that more closely anticipated the unease and ambivalence that would haunt Berlin's self-understanding and desires for redefinition after 1990. In this way too, the abruptness with which seeming spatial and social certainties can become unpinned, so to speak, and the anxiety and discomfort provoked by the porosity of borders and edges at this moment of unforeseen openness, already anticipates the uneasy encounters of the coming pages. 43 CHAPTER ONE Visitations Something is uncanny — that is how it begins. But at the same time one must search for that remoter 'something,' which is already close at hand. Ernst Bloch110 Anxiety is framed, and what makes the framing a vehicle of anxiety is when it manifests what is already there, much closer to the house or 'Heim', which is the host. Jacques Lacan111 It is September 1991 and the Spandauer Vorstadt quarter in the former East Berlin district of Mitte appears almost entirely sheathed in a membrane of bright tarpaulin, a makeshift skin stretched taut over a skeleton of scaffolding that trembles from the noise of construction. The dust that escapes the seams of this membrane is cool and damp and curiously pungent; it is the smell of age, as though the buildings, ripped free of their internal restraints, may finally exhale the air they have held for decades. The district is undergoing a rapid physical and social alteration, a metamorphosis designed to turn the 1 1 0 Ernst Bloch, "A Philosophical View of the Detective Novel," The Utopian Function of Art and Literature: Selected Essays, trans. Jack Zipes and Frank Meckelburg (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1988), 245. 1 1 1 Jacques Lacan, "Angoisse," Seminare, 1962-3, unpublished manuscript. Quoted in Anthony Vidler, "Architecture Cornered: Notes on the Anxiety of Architecture," The Architectural Unconscious: James Cadebere and Glen Seator. With essays by Adam D. Weinberg, Mark Wigley, and Anthony Vidler (Massachusetts: Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips' Academy, 2000), 46. 44 decaying neighborhood into a sophisticated new cultural destination for the unified capital. The winding streets, under the finger-like shadow of the glittering Fernsehturm,112 are clogged with cement mixers, sawed-off ends of timber, and cairns of cobblestone. Delivery trucks idle impatiently, sagging under the weight of massive coils of electrical wire; sidewalks disintegrate into stretches of sand or exposed sewer mains. The crumbling stone apartment blocks, built over a century and a half ago to house Berlin's swelling immigrant population, will soon accommodate the galleries, boutiques and living space of those at the opposite end of the economic spectrum. After dusk the neighborhood gently settles into quiet, abandoned by the unbearable symphony of the day. Yet for some unsuspecting residents, the evening brings no respite. As darkness inks out the details of the street, a more covert - indeed silent -assault on the senses begins. An absentminded walk home from the local Kneipe is interrupted by a ghostly encounter: the momentary reappearance of the district's former Jewish residents, deported and murdered some fifty years earlier. At one corner, the apparition of a bearded Hasidic man selling Hebrew books peers out from the shelter of a doorway (figure 16). At another, two men in suits drift unconcerned through the barricades of a construction site and into a long-vanished cafe (figure 17). Further along, two young boys huddle dejectedly, as if reprimanded for trespassing in the neighboring property (figure 18). For several uneasy moments, it is as though the district's noisy renovations have disturbed more than simply decades of stale air, as if these apparitions'have soaked out through the very walls of the buildings themselves to reclaim their homes, streets, and businesses. And then, as abruptly as they had appeared, 1 1 2 The 365 metre high television tower, built in 1969 to showcase the technological prowess of the socialist capital. 45 these pallid, fragmented scenes of the past dissolve into darkness, leaving the pedestrian alone on the street, blinking at an empty wall, as though at some after-image that lingers before the retina long after the original stimulus has vanished. The individual responsible for these haunting encounters in the Spandauer Vorstadt, which continued, intermittently, over the period of one year, is the American Jewish artist Shimon Attie. Attie had moved to Berlin in the summer of 1991, he admits, as an artist profoundly influenced by stories about the war. "I learned through these stories," he comments, "particularly those told by my father, that part of being Jewish meant I was connected to a life and culture that no longer existed. This feeling of having lost something I have never had _...] was a powerful thread running through my childhood and has deeply influenced my work."113 Walking through the streets of Berlin in the first months after his arrival, Attie found the city haunted by the absence of its missing Jews, and felt the presence of these destroyed communities very strongly, though so few visible traces of them remained.114 He began searching numerous archives in the city,1 1 5 looking for photographic evidence of Berlin's pre-war Jewish population, particularly the Ostjuden or Eastern European and predominantly Orthodox Jews, who had densely 1 1 3 Shimon Attie, Sites Unseen: Shimon Attie European Projects Installations and Photographs (Vermont: Verve Editions, 1998), 9. 1 1 4 Shimon Attie, The Writing on the Wall: Projections in Berlin's Jewish Qjiarter. Shimon Attie: Photographs and Installations, with essays by Michael Andre Bernstein, Erwin Leiser (Heidelberg: Vereinigte Offsetdruckerein GmbH, 1994), 9. 1 1 5 Attie utilized ten different archives for his Berlin project, including press archives, government archives of the city of Berlin and state archives, Jewish community archives, the private archive of Eike Geisel, a now deceased political scientist, and the private photo albums of Jewish families in Berlin. See Dora Apel, "Picturing the Vanished/Transgressing the Present," Memory Effects: The Holocaust and the Art of Secondary Witnessing (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2000), 57. 46 populated the so-called "Scheunenviertel" or "Barn Quarter"116 area of Spandauer Vorstadt in the first decade of the twentieth century. Then, under a cloak of darkness, the artist projected as slide images fragments of these black-and-white, pre-war photographs onto the walls of the same neighborhood where they had been captured some sixty years earlier, and photographed the results, in exposures lasting between two and three minutes. Attie called these installations The Writing on the Wall. Shimon Attie's European projects and his Berlin installations in particular have received critical attention only within the parameters of discussion focused on contemporary artistic responses to the Holocaust.117 However, to delimit consideration of Attie's enigmatic Berlin work to this specific theatre of debate would be to disregard important complexities of the project. The significance of The Writing on the Wall, and the power of its voice within the discourse of Holocaust remembrance, is inextricably bound to the project's specific political, spatial and temporal context: that of the city's (and country's) reunification. Entangling these site-specific installations within the political and spatial moment in which they were produced not only complicates and problematizes the 1 1 6 The Scheunenviertel, so named because in 1672 Elector Friedrich Wilhelm decided to move the royal hay barns — a fire hazard — beyond the then-city limits to the area of today's Rosa-Luxemburg Platz, is framed by Miinzstrasse in the south, Alte Schonhauser Strasse in the west, Torstrasse in the north, and Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse in the east. 117 The Writing on the Wall was Attie's first public installation. In 1993 (in collaboration with Mathias Maile) he projected portraits of Dresden's deported Jews onto train cars and walls inside Dresden's Hauptbahnhof in installations called Trains land Trains //(commissioned by Mediate, Hamburg). Between 1995-6 the artist completed a series of site specific installations across Europe involving projected photographs or film: The Walk of Fame in Krakow, Poland (produced by the Goethe Institute in Krakow and the Centre of Jewish Culture-Judaica Foundation in Krakow); Brick by Brick in Cologne, (produced by the Cologne Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany); Portraits of Exile at Copenhagen's harbour (produced in part by BIZART, Copenhagen, Denmark); and The Neighbor Next Door in Amsterdam (commissioned by the Paradox Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands). After an installation involving lasers and projected photography in New York's Lower East Side in 1998, entitled Between Dreams and History (commissioned by Creative Time Inc., New York City), Attie's most site-specific work involving projected archive photographs was in Rome, and entitled The History of Another. 47 project itself, more importantly it provides a rare glance into Berlin's - and more precisely the Spandauer Vorstadt's - rapidly altering discursive and physical reconstruction after 1989. For the brief moments that they illuminated the night, Attie's ghostly images offered a critical space of rupture within a city intent on reconstructing a continuous, "unified" physical and discursive landscape. On the surface the burgeoning Spandauer Vorstadt exudes the influx of capital, confidence, and progress befitting a future capital of unified Germany, at least in that capital's self-understanding. However with the beam of his projector light the artist burns through this surface, as easily as through the thin tarpaulin sheathing the quarter's historic facades, to illuminate the more ominous realities that lurk beneath. The fleeting images projected on the walls of the Spandauer Vorstadt return to a place which has forgotten them, after having been pushed to the margins of official public memory by a state whose own existence is now confined only to recollection. But perhaps more menacingly, I will argue, as the Ostjuden suddenly reappear to haunt Berlin's most promising quarter, so too, at this moment of reunification and of collapsing political, spatial, and psychic boundaries, do long unresolved anxieties over the definition of "Germanness" return in a new guise, to plague a reconnected city and a new nation insecure with its own identity in a rapidly changing Europe. In this way, and perhaps unwittingly, these pallid and ephemeral projections disrupt the careful re-construction of place from within. The familiar - neighborhood, city, nation - is disturbed by a seemingly foreign presence; the Heimat (or homeland) becomes unheimlich."8 118 Heimat literally translates as "home," in the sense of one's homeland. Unheimlich is the German term for "uncanny," literally "unhomely." 48 Attie's work is in many ways characteristic of a generation of artists (both European and North American) born after 1945 whose practice attempts to address the Holocaust. The predicament facing these artists, as the painter Debbie Teicholz articulates, lies in the challenge of addressing a traumatic event they did not witness, yet one that they continue to confront vicariously. She states: "my identity was greatly influenced by a past from which I am once removed. My art bears witness to the feeling of displacement, of living in a time warp, where a flashback to the Holocaust takes place simultaneously with events of today."119 In contrast to the art of survivors, whose artistic production in and after the camps is characteristically expressive and realistic in style,120 second generation and third artists are unable to recall the Holocaust separately from the ways it has been passed down to them. One example can be found in the post-modern "commix" of Art Spiegelman, whose Pulitzer Prize winning Maus: A Survivor's Tale, tells not so much the story of the Holocaust, as the survivor's tale itself (with all its interruptions and inconsistencies) through the artist-son's recovery of it. 1 2 1 To describe this mediated way of accessing the past, Marianne Hirsch posits the term "postmemory," albeit with some hesitation, conscious that the prefix "post" might imply that we have in some way moved beyond memory. For Hirsch, "postmemory," while as "obsessive and relentless" and certainly as constructed as memory itself, is distinguished 1 1 9 Quoted in Matthew Baigell, American Jewish Artists and the Holocaust (London: Rutgers University Press, 1997), 5. 1 2 0 See Monica Bohm-Duchen, After Auschwitz: Responses to the Holocaust in Contemporary Art (London: Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, 1995). 1 2 1 Art Spiegelman, Maus: A Survivor's Tale. Vols. 1 and 2 (New York: Pantheon, 1986, 1991). See Art Spiegelman, "Artist's Statement," in Jewish Themes/Contemporary American Artists, edited by Susan Tumarkin Goodman, vol.2, 44 (New York: Jewish Museum, 1986); Spiegelman, "Commix: An Idiosyncratic Historical and Aesthetic Overview," Print (November-December 1988), 61-73, 195-196; James E . Young, "Art Spiegelman's Maus and the After-images of History," At Memory's Edge: After-images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture (Yale University Press: New Haven and London, 2000), 12-41. 49 from memory by generational distance and from history by deep personal connection. It is "a powerful and very particular form of memory precisely because its connections to its object or source is mediated, not through recollection but through an imaginative investment and creation."122 The work of artists such as Spiegelmann and Attie instead draws on a language of absence and the futility of presumed channels of recollection, a self-reflexive admission of their mediated experience of these events, the understanding of "history itself as a composite record of both events and these events' transmission,"123 and the knowledge that their contributions provide yet another layer of mediation. In The Writing on the Wall, the purpose of the projected images was not to attempt to reactivate a lost community, nor was it to jog the memory of those who witnessed the installation, as the majority of contemporary residents would have no personal recollection of the Jews who once lived in this quarter.124 Rather the point was to create a jarring confrontation between the physicality of the present and the immateriality of the projected photographic past, in order to make plain the irretrievable loss that is an invisible yet binding feature of this neighborhood's landscape. In Germany, the forms and processes of contemporary memorialization are particularly tortured. As the atrocities of the Holocaust recede further and further into the past, efforts to publicly commemorate these events in the country that perpetrated them have become increasingly laborious and politically fraught. In the last two decades in the former West, particularly in light of commemorative events and discussion surrounding 1 2 2 Marianne Hirsch, Family Frames: Photography, Narrative, andPostmemory (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997), 22. 1 2 3 James Young, "Introduction," At Memory's Edge, 2. 1 2 4 A fact made explicitly clear to Attie during the course of his Berlin installations. See Attie, Sites Unseen, 4. 50 a grim and seemingly endless sequence of fifty-year anniversaries involving the Third Reich, numerous artists have emerged within what has begun to be called (only somewhat facetiously) Germany's Geddchtnisbetrieb or "memory-industry" who reject the rigid didacticism and stasis of the traditional monument, arguing that memorials are often more an impediment than an aid to memory. James E. Young, author of several books on contemporary Holocaust memorials, explains that such artists "are heirs to a double-edged postwar legacy: a deep distrust of monumental forms in light of their systematic exploitation by the Nazis, and a profound desire to distinguish their generation from that of the killers through memory."125 These artists (not all of German descent but all working in Germany), who include Jochen Gerz and Esther Shalev-Gerz, Renata Stih, Frieder Schnock, Rachel Whiteread, Horst Hoheisel, and Sol Lewitt, find more self-effacing ways to explore both the necessity of remembering and their incapacity to recall events they did not experience directly.126 Influenced by conceptualist trends in the 1970s art world toward public, performative, ephemeral, and even self-destructing works as a way of escaping both the confines of the art gallery and the commodity market, these artists have developed what Young terms the "counter-monument" ("Gegen-Denkmal").121 Theirs are memorials that starkly announce their own inability to perform any memory-work. In 1986 Jochen Gerz and his wife Esther Shalev-Gerz answered Hamburg's call for a "Monument against Fascism" by erecting a twelve meter high pillar clad in soft lead, 1 2 5 James Young, The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), 27. 1 2 6 See James Young, The Art of Memory: Holocaust Memorials in History (Munich: Prestel, 1994); and At Memory's Edge for a discussion on the individual projects of these artists. 1 2 7 See Young, The Texture of Memory, 27-36. 51 designed to be scrawled with graffiti and messages by visitors, and periodically lowered at one metre intervals into the ground (figure 19). Eventually the monument disappeared entirely from sight, leaving a vacant space marked only by an inscription reading: "in the end, it is only we ourselves who can rise up against injustice."128 In a similar, if more radically conceptual gesture, the artist Horst Hoheisel, in his submission to the 1995 competition in Berlin for the "Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe," proposed that the Brandenburg Gates be detonated, ground into dust and sprinkled over the former site (figure 20). Rather than commemorating the destruction of a people by the erection of yet another edifice, Hoheisel wanted to carve out an empty space in Berlin by which to remember a now absent people.129 Like the Gerz's vanishing memorial and Hoheisel's proposed destroyed monument, Attie's The Writing on the Wall intervenes directly in the space itself, and although the installation is temporary and leaves no trace, Attie hopes that "once seen, the images of these projections will always haunt these sites by haunting those who have seen _the~J projections."130 The sites of a lost Jewish past in Europe, he hopes, "would thus retain traces of this past."131 The burden of remembrance is returned to the citizens themselves. Shimon Attie was not the first artist to aim a projector light into the darkened streets of former East Berlin. One year earlier, in 1990, the eastern sector had been introduced to the work of Krzysztof Wodiczko, one of thirteen internationally renowned artists 1 2 8 quoted in Young, The Texture of Memory., 30. 1 2 9 Young, "Memory, Countermemory, and the End of the Monument: Horst Hoheisel, Micha Ulman, Rachel Whiteread, and Rena Stih and Frieder Schnock," At Memory's Edge, 90. 1 3 0 Shimon Attie, Sites Unseen, 10. 1 3 1 Attie, 10. invited to participate in the city-wide exhibition Die Endlichkeit der Freiheit (The Finitude of Freedom), a project conceived of by Rebecca Horn, Jannis Kounellis, and the East German writer Heiner Miiller. The exhibition called on artists to create public works of art in response to the political situation in East and West Berlin after the fall of the Wall, by engaging histories of specific sites within the city. The aim of the project, sponsored largely by the Berlin Senate, was to use the discourse of art (and the symbolic currency of internationally recognized artists) to address the complexities and asymmetries of Berlin's current situation that were largely absent from official political discussion. Wodiczko's contribution, entitled Leninplatz - Projektion, focused on the discrepancy between the symbolic value of the monument and the reality that it no longer managed to represent. After dark Wodiczko transformed the colossal statue of Lenin in Friedrichshain's Leninplatz (renamed Platz der Vereinten Nationen [^ United Nations Square] in 1992) into the figure of a contemporary (and clearly westernized) consumer.132 Through the use of projected images, the heroic representation of the former Soviet leader appeared wearing a striped sports jersey and standing next to a shopping cart loaded with western electronic goods (figure 21). This suddenly banalized image of Lenin, at once a critique both of the bombastic gestures of the now defunct socialist state and of the empty materialism of the West, was perhaps also a more melancholy statement about the breakneck speed of the reunification process, and the haste with which Easterners appeared to abandon their former way of life. 1 3 2 Actually Leninplatz — Projektion was one half of Wodiczko's contribution to Die Endlichkeit der Freiheit. In the West, Wodizko also worked on the Weinhaus Huth building, one of the few structures in Potsdamer Platz to survive the war. Onto the facade of the celebrated heritage structure he projected an image of the German eagle taking flight from a treasure chest. 53 On the surface, the affinity between Wodiczko and Attie is clear: both artists briefly transform the urban landscape with images projected through light. However Wodiczko - here in Leninplatz as with the majority of his works - directs his projector light steadily (often for nights or weeks at a time) towards a highly visible public monument, an act which functions to crystallize or illuminate, and never without a touch of irony or humour, already widely circulating - if officially overlooked - societal critique. In this sense, underscored by the fact that his work in Berlin was sponsored by the state, Wodiczko's projections do not attempt to destabilize his audience's assumptions, but rather challenge and activate them. Attie's images, by contrast, are continually on the move: they materialize unexpectedly and vanish in minutes, confronting an unprepared and often unwilling audience. Working alone, uninvited, unsanctioned, and creeping through the darkened neighborhood like some silent guerrilla, Attie turns the city street into an unpredictable and potentially threatening space of encounter. The Writing on the Wall does not aim to galvanize a community but rather to alarm and destabilize it, making his ephemeral images derailing and dangerous. Shimon Attie was also not the first artist to challenge the neighborhood of Spandauer Vorstadt to expose the absence embedded in its fabric; during Die Endlichkeit der Freiheit, while Wodizko transformed Lenin, this neighborhood became the site of a similar intervention, that of Christian Boltanski's Missing House. Discussions of Attie's The Writing on the Wall often invite comparison to Missing House.]SS The installations were sited merely blocks apart and both called attention to the neighborhood's historic 1 3 3 See for example: Dora Apel, Memory Effects, 56-57. 54 loss and lack of public recognition of that loss. The site for Boltanski's installation was the vacant space at 15/16 GroBe Hamburger StraBe, formerly an apartment building destroyed in the single most devastating Allied air attack on civilian Berlin, on the night of February 8 t h, 1945 (figure 22). On the two facing fire walls of the extant adjoining structures, Boltanski mounted a series of 12 black and white plaques, indicating the family name, profession, and period of residency of each tenant who had lived in the bombed out apartments (figure 23). 1 3 4 Unbeknownst to the artist when he began the project, the majority of the building's residents prior to 1942 had been Jewish. By the time of the bombing, however, these tenants had been evicted and deported; the non-Jewish Germans who had replaced the deported Jews were themselves displaced, injured, or possibly killed when the building was bombed. In this sense, Boltanski's simple plaques marked a double absence, a site of repeated violence. At the behest of the Berlin Senate and with some support from local residents, the nameplates of Missing House remained permanently on the walls adjacent to 15/16 GroBe Hamburger StraBe after the close of the exhibition. However, with the exhibition's explanatory panel removed, uninformed visitors - not unlike those encountering Attie's ephemeral and unexplained images of Jews in the dark streets of the same quarter - were left to their own devices in relating the names to the empty site. The vacant space now stands partially obscured behind the outdoor patio tables of a next-door restaurant, an uneasy site of commemoration, "in which a nothingness has been inscribed with a historical 1 3 4 Like Wodiczko's contribution to Die Endlichkeit der Freiheit, The Missing House was one half of a two-part project; the second half was called The Museum. The Museum consisted of ten vitrines erected in an abandoned area near the Lehrter Bahnhof not far from the Reichstag in former West Berlin. Boltanski filled the vitrines with copies of the documents concerning the former residents of the missing house in the Spandauer Vorstadt. The vitrines were removed at the end of the exhibition. 55 reference," in the words of one commentator, "but a reference whose significance remains troublingly enigmatic."135 By making an absence visible both Shimon Attie and Christian Boltanski hoped, to quote Attie, to "interrupt the collective processes of denial and forgetting."136 Neither project offers an easy space of remembrance: the anonymity of Attie's fleeting projections and the mute ambiguity of Boltanski's plaques occlude a facile response, evading any attempt to set down feelings of guilt or grief by denying a satisfactory place of mourning. However, while one may be inclined to describe both installations as fundamentally about a "void"137 that haunts the centre of a city, at the heart of Attie's The Writing on the Wall is something far more unsettling than absence and loss. What Attie illuminates with his projector light in the dark streets of the Spandauer Vorstadt is not the absence of the Jews. He orchestrates their momentary return. For those brief minutes, the quarter's former Jewish residents have come back to haunt the current population. They have returned to their homes, their streets, their businesses, those places where their presence should be remembered, familiar, heimisch. At first glance it may appear that, as one writer has observed, "the real Berlin was soaking back out of the walls and onto the streets."138 A closer look, however, reveals that the past is unable to reclaim its former spaces; the fragments of this lost community merely hover uneasily against the flat surface of the buildings. The grainy, black and white figures are out of step with the colours of the contemporary city, resisting recontextualization, their faces 1 3 5 Abigail Solomon-Godeau, "Mourning or Melancholia: Christian Boltanski's Missing House? Oxford Art Journal, vol.21, no.2 (1998): 7. 1 3 6 Attie, Sites Unseen, 10. 1 3 7 See Andreas Huyssen, "The Voids of Berlin." 1 3 8 Charles Hall, "Ghosts of the Holocaust," Creative Camera no. 329 (August/September 1994), 47. 56 blurred and distant. In 1991 the images of these residents seem unfamiliar here, and their unexpected reappearance is disturbing, unheimlich. The notion of the unheimlich or uncanny, the anxious or eerie feeling that the familiar has been invaded by an unknown, alien presence, is crucial to my analysis of The Writing on the Wall. It functions here not as a descriptive term but rather as an important interpretive device, a means by which to interrogate how and why this seemingly innocuous installation was capable of producing such discomfort at the moment of its exhibition, and a key to distinguishing Attie's project from those others - such as Boltanski's and Wodiczko's - to which it is often compared. Many scholars have attempted to historically locate the origins of the uncanny. Some argue that it was during and through the Enlightenment, "with its confident rejection of transcendental explanations, compulsive quest for systematic knowledge, and self-conscious valorization of'reason' over 'superstition,'"139 that western society suddenly encounters the strangeness and unease we might call the uncanny. In other words, the uncanny is a function of the West's increasing rationalization; it is modernity's unrecognizable underside, which confronts us only "after a certain light has been cast."140 For architectural historian Anthony Vidler, the uncanny found its first "home" in the nineteenth century, surfacing in the "fantasies ["and nightmares] of burial and return inseparable from the historical and archeological self-consciousness"141 of the period, and manifesting perhaps most imaginatively in the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe and 1 3 9 Terry Castle, The Female Thermometer: 18"' Century Culture and the Invention of the Uncanny, (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 8-9. 1 4 0 Castle, 7. 1 4 1 Anthony Vidler, "Preface," The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1992), xi. 57 E.T.A. Hoffmann.142 The idea developed, he argues, as a specifically bourgeois kind of anxiety and a distinctly spatial one, provoked by the fundamental insecurities of "a newly established class, not quite home in its own home."143 Predictably, the feeling of the uncanny was most often encountered in those quintessential nineteenth century spaces: the private interior of the middle class home and, as Walter Benjamin has argued, in the terrifying expanses and "disturbingly heterogeneous crowds"144 of the metropolis.145 The uncanny, in these terms, can be understood as an uneasy feeling of "dis-placement," and a problem with the identity of self and Other. It was Freud who most famously considered the origins, implications, and most importantly the ambiguity of the uncanny, in his 1919 essay that married psychoanalytical thinking with literary criticism,146 and it is Freud's theorization of the concept that provides an interpretive frame for this analysis of The Writing on the Wall. The particular element of the uncanny which had previously evaded detection, Freud claimed, is the fact that it arises from the transformation of something that once seemed home-like into something decidedly not so, from the heimlich, that is, into the unheimlich. Freud's analysis begins' with an examination of the etymology and historical development of the German term unheimlich. Its opposite, heimlich, as Freud reveals, came to have two meanings, the first denoting that which is cozy, familiar, intimate, or belonging to the home. Freud then demonstrates that this common understanding of 1 4 2 See for example E.T.A. Hoffmann's "The Sandman," in The Tales of Hoffmann, (London: George G. Harrap and Co., Ltd., 1932). 1 4 3 Anthony Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny, 3. 1 4 4 Vidler, 4. 145 "Walter Benjamin, Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the era of High Capitalism, trans. Harry Zohn (London: New Left Books, 1973), 128-131: "Fear, revulsion, and horror were the emotions which the big city crowd aroused in those who first observed it" (131). 1 4 6 Sigmund Freud, "The Uncanny," The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol.17, ed. James Strachey (London: Hogarth Press, 1955), 217-252. 58 heimlich slowly shifted, eventually also coming to mean that which is private, withdrawn, concealed or secretive. "Heimlich," he states, "developed in the direction of ambivalence, until it reached its opposite, unheimlich. "I4T Seen in this way, the unheimlich then comes to mean something unfamiliar, or unhomely, which has unwillingly been revealed. "Das Unheimlich sei alles," Freud states, quoting the eighteenth century philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, "was ein Geheimnis, im Verborgenen bleiben sollte und hervorgetreten ist."1*8 It is at this point in his discussion that Freud introduces the vocabulary of psychoanalysis. The uncanny, he argues, is a mark of the return of the repressed; it is the return of something (a person, object or event) previously known but made strange by repression. Thus Freud arrives at his most crucial point, which is that "this uncanny is in reality nothing new or alien, but something which is familiar and old — established in the mind and which has become alienated from it through the process of repression."149 Registered in the etymology of the German term itself, the unheimlich designates a disturbance in which the very site or space (physically, psychically, or nationally) of the home {Heim, Heimat)— that which should be "familiar and old" is made strange or alien; it is "at home" where one should feel most comfortable, and consequently where the most alarming destabilizations occur. In the autumn of 1991, a past long since buried beneath the surface of the Spandauer Vorstadt is quite literally brought to light. Ashen faces of a destroyed community peer out into a world 1 4 7 Freud, 226. its "The uncanny is everything that ought to have remained secret and hidden, but has come to light." Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, Philosophic der Mythologie (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Burgergesellschaft, 1966), vol.2, 649. Quoted in Freud, 225. 14H Freud, 242. 59 unprepared for their presence; their sudden reappearance penetrates not simply the dark-streets but decades of forgetting. Once familiar, the Ostjuden are now no longer recognized as "at home" in their own neighborhood; their return is not a welcome reunion, but a haunting. The disquiet of these projected images is due in part to the spaces and community they suddenly disturbed. The Writing on the Wall was conceptualized and realized not within former West Berlin but on the streets of the Spandauer Vorstadt, previously the city's Jewish Quarter, in the district of Mitte that lay in the Soviet Sector in postwar Berlin and under control of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) until October 3, 1990. Casting archive photographs of Berlin's pre-war Jews onto the walls of the city's western districts such as Charlottenburg or Steglitz would have resulted in an altogether different spectrum of response by the project's viewing public because of West Germany's well established rhetoric of memorialization, and might have lessened the project's complexity as well as its critical potential for my discussion here. Reasons for this extend from the fact that the political memory and public narratives of the Nazi era and the lessons to be learned from the war varied drastically from East to West Germany and were shaped by the mixture of belief, interest, and claims to legitimacy that molded the different states. Correspondingly, the ways in which the very space of the city itself - the former nerve centre of Nazi terror - was inscribed with and could be read for the memories of those crimes differed greatly in the two Berlins. Because the past is always constructed in accordance with a need for self-representation in the present, "the types of narrative thereby created," as cultural historian Caroline 60 Wiedmer asserts, "are entirely enmeshed in the historical and cultural contexts that have engendered them."150 West Germany coped with the past by adopting what one political scientist has termed a "moral-political-pedagogical strategy,"151 in other words one that normatively internalized or officially accepted moral and material liability for Nazi crimes.152 Thus responsibility for the Holocaust very quickly became a constituent part of the Federal Republic's political memory and self-understanding. For a fledgling state anxious to regain global acceptance as a democratic Western nation, assuming this position in relation to the crimes of the National Socialist past was an ideological necessity. In the late 1960s the moral outrage and bitter accusation directed by the so-called "second generation" against their parents, perhaps best exemplified in the moralizing thesis of psychoanalytic-cultural theorists Margarete and Alexander Mitscherlich in their 1967 publication The Inability to Mourn, marked a clear departure in the politics of remembering Nazi war crimes from the immediate post-war preoccupation with "'guilt' and reparation"153 to an increasingly public discourse rife with the language of Vergangenheitsbewaltigung, translated variously as "coming to terms with" or "overcoming the past." Particularly in the last two decades, the Federal Republic's official internalization of and attempts to "come to terms with" its recent past has been extended to and quite often embedded within the fabric of the city itself in the form of memorial and other commemorative spaces. One arresting example is Karol Broniatowski's winning submission for the Mahnmal Bahnhof Grunewald (Grunewald 1 5 0 Caroline Wiedmer, The Claims of Memory, 6. 1 5 1 Hermann Kurthen, "Antisemitism and Xenophobia in United Germany: How the Burden of the Past Affects the Present," Antisemitism and Xenophobia in Germany after Unification, eds. Hermann Kurthen et. al. (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 40. 152 Kurthen argues that one can distinguish between the approach taken in the Federal Republic of Germany and the more "legalistic" way of coping with the past in Austria (where that Nazi past was externalized as a German problem) as well as the political approach in the GDR (which universalized Nazi fascism as part of a global class struggle). See Kurthen, 40. 1 5 3 See Anson Rabinbach, "Response to Karen Brecht," 318 61 Train Station Memorial) in the affluent Berlin district of Wilmersdorf, where ghostlike, negative traces of the human form, cast in concrete on the approach to the S-bahn station, appear to emerge out of the very wall itself (figure 24). 1 5 4 Another is found in the district of Schoneberg, in the project designed by Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock, which commemorates the once-lively Jewish life around Bayerischer Platz. Throughout the neighborhood, Stih and Schnock installed eighty small signs, mounted on ordinary signposts, to be encountered by pedestrians and motorists alongside familiar street signs, quoting several of the petty and insidious government regulations that systematically destroyed Jewish life between 1933 and 1945, such as "Juden durfen keine Zeitungen und Zeitschrifien kaufen 17.2.1942" and "Juden durfen keine Haustiere mehr halten 15.5.1942"'55 (figures 25 and 26). The appearance of numerous memorials throughout West Germany since the early 1980s is by no means an indication that the issues around the Third Reich have been successfully overcome (in fact the Mitscherlichs argue that the work of mourning was never effectively carried out in the years following defeat in 19451 5 6), rather as the events of the Holocaust recede further into the past they is* Broniatowski, aided by Ralk Skroka, was awarded the Mahnmal Bahnhof Grilnewald commission in 1988, and the memorial opened officially in October 1991. The memorial commemorates the Berlin Jews who were deported to concentration camps primarily from the S-bahn station. The inscription on the bronze tablet at the site reads: "To remember the more than 50,000 Berlin Jews who were deported to death camps primarily from Guterbahnhof Grunewald and murdered by the National Socialist state. This serves as a reminder that every dismissal of life and the dignity of men must be opposed courageously and without hesitation" (translation mine). In a published statement Broniatowski stresses that it was important that the 18 metre concrete wall remained visible from the approach road and the Platz, "indicating the direction of the actual place of Happening — the loading ramp — and corresponding with the platform going east." For him it was crucial that the memorial "activate the street as the visible and general place of the gruesome Happening..." Kunst in Stadtraum - Denkmaler, Stadtebau und Architektur. Bericht 29, 1994 (Berlin: Druckhaus am Treptower Park, November 1994), 24. 1 5 5 "Jews are not allowed to buy newspapers and magazines 17.2.1942" and "Jews are no longer allowed to keep pets 15.5.1942." 1 5 f ; See Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich, The Inability to Mourn. 62 become increasingly vexing and complex.157 In Berlin, the necessity and difficulty of giving form to the memory of such violence is particularly inflamed and politicized (and, some would argue, increasingly commoditized). This became particularly evident during the controversy following Chancellor Kohl's proposal in 1993 to re-codify Karl Friedrich Schinkel's neoclassical, temple-like Neue Wache (New Guard House), built in 1817-18 on Unter den Linden, as a centralized, national monument intended to honour "the victims of war and tyranny" (figure 27). The site was a heavily laden one, having already served three different German states' desires to articulate their own memorial politics (during the Weimar Republic, The Third Reich, and the German Democratic Republic). The Neue Wache site was chosen by Chancellor Kohl himself, as was the sculptural group that was to figure as the central focus of the memorial: the enlargement of a Kathe Kollwitz statue depicting a grieving mother holding the body of her dead son (figure 28). The memorial, Kohl announced at its dedication, "is an important symbol of reunited Germany and the free democratic system of our constitution which affirms the dignity, value, and rights of each citizen."158 However the monument was met with widespread criticism by those who argued that it commemorated the victim and perpetrator of the Holocaust alike. Neither did everyone feel the Kollwitz statue to be an appropriate symbol: womens' rights activists questioned whether it suggested that women's roles in wartime was limited to that of 1 5 7 The fact that the Nazi past remains unresolved within German political memory was perhaps most explosively indicated by the so-called Historikerstreit or Historians' Debate of 1986, an acrid conflict over the "uniqueness" or "comparability" of the Holocaust within German historiography. The debate, played out in the pages of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Die Zeit, initiated from revisionist German historian Ernst Nolte's attempt to historicize or "normalize" the period of National Socialism so that German history could once again be used for the production of a viable national self-understanding. For the major articles of the Historikerstreit translated into English, see Forever in the Shadow of Hitler? Original Documents of the Historikerstreit, the controversy concerning the singularity of the Holocaust, trans. James Knowlton and Truett Cates, (New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1993). 1 5 8 See Caroline Wiedmer, 116-117. 63 the passive mourner; many sharply criticized the fact that the sculpture resembles a modern version of Michelangelo's Pietd. The implicit reference to Christian iconography was challenged as problematic and offensive in the context of a memorial to the millions of non-Christian victims of Nazi genocide. As Caroline Wiedmer suggests, At best, the Kollwitz reproduction in the Neue Wache makes strained historical equivalences in the interest of national unity. At worst, it is a perpetuation of the very cultural-hegemonic strategies at work in Germany's racist past. The lumping together of widely disparate victims within this Neue Wache enables a fantasy reconstruction of German wholeness under the sign of melancholy passivity.159 Only after the president of the Jewish Community of Germany threatened to boycott the dedication did Kohl agree to affix a brass plaque outside the monument naming the different groups that had fallen victim to Nazi terror, as well as promise to support the Jewish community's request for a separate Jewish memorial in Berlin. 1 6 0 The politics of memory in Berlin are perhaps most hyperbolically represented in the fifteen-year debate erupting very soon after the Neue Wache debacle, over the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe (finally completed in 2006), sited on an expansive plot of land just south of the Brandenburg Gates (figure 29). The project had been initiated in 1988 by a citizens' initiative and went on to assume heightened significance after reunification. National politicians saw a memorial devoted specifically to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust as an important symbolic and spatial component of the reconstructed and newly reinstated capital, prompting the federal government to donate a prominent plot that would cover an entire city block across from the Tiergarten. This 1 5 9 Wiedmer, 118-119. 160 p o r a detailed discussion of the Neue Wache debate, see Wiedmer, 113-120. 64 site had fallen within the "no-man's land" adjacent to the Wall, and was also close to Potsdamer Platz as well as the location of the now infamous bunker where Hitler spent his final hours. While funds fell short for the upkeep of many actual sites of Nazi terror (for example the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in the Berlin suburb of Oranienburg, the area of the former Gestapo headquarters along Wilhelmstrasse, and the villa in southern Berlin where the Wannsee Conference was held to coordinate the "Final Solution"), millions of deutschmarks were spent to develop this new single, centralized and highly visible memorial. A group of those who oversaw the deteriorating remains of Buchenwald, Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Bergen-Belsen argued that the Berlin monument could endanger the "concrete confrontation" with the past at the very sites where it occurred. Ironically, then, the memorial's creation might facilitate the process of forgetting.161 The planned memorial came under further attack from cynical Berliners who derided it as a Kranzabwurfstelle or "wreath dumping place," a site where public figures could lay garlands and pose for photographs, without a rigorous confrontation with the past. Others argued that a state-sponsored memorial commemorating only Jews would lead to a "hierarchy of victims," and additional campaigns, led by Germany's Union of Gays and the Central Council of Sinti and Roma, were begun to promote the erection of national memorials in Berlin to the homosexuals and other minority groups murdered by the Nazis. Despite these objections, the Berlin city authorities and federal government sponsored a design competition in 1995, which attracted 528 entries, including twelve by invitation from internationally recognized artists. The results appeared to highlight, as Michael Wise has stated, "the perils of 1 6 1 See Michael Wise, Capital Dilemma, 148. 65 aesthetic representations of the Holocaust."162 Many design submissions were gargantuan and grotesque, reflecting perhaps the size of the site itself and the belief that the extraordinary nature of the Nazi crimes necessitated a monument of equal magnitude. One entry proposal envisioned a sixty-foot high oven that would burn around the clock, modeled after those use as crematoriums in the death camps; another proposed a gigantic Ferris wheel equipped not with standard seats but freight cars like those used to transport Jews to their deaths.163 When all 528 submissions went on public display, they were described as "a quarry for anthropologists, psychologists, and behaviorists," interested in examining "the condition of a confused nation."164 Several entries stood apart from the rest, such as Horst Hoheisel's "counter-monument," discussed earlier in this chapter. Although Christine Jacob-Marks was chosen as winner, her proposed design (a massive horizontally-laid concrete tombstone covering almost the entire site, inscribed with the names of all known Jewish Holocaust victims ["figure 30"J) did not quell the argument but fuelled it further.165 Within hours of announcing the winner, according to James Young, the monument's "mixed memorial message of Jewish naming tradition and self-sacrifice generated an avalanche of artistic, intellectual, and editorial criticism decrying this 'tilted gravestone' as too big, too heavy-handed, too divisive, and finally just too German."166 The leader of Germany's Jewish community, Ignatz Bubis, disliked it intensely, and stated to Chancellor Kohl that the winning design was simply unacceptable. Kohl threw up his hands in exasperation, pronounced 162 p o r a discussion of the 1995 memorial competition and images of the submissions, see Wise, 149. Documentation of the debate surrounding the 1995 competition can be found in Amnon Barzel et. al., Der Wettbewerb fur das "Denkmalfur die ermordeten Juden Europas": eine Streischift. (Dresden: Verlag der Kunst, Berlin: Neue Gesellschaft fur Bildende Kunst, 1995). 1 S S Wise, 149. 1 6 4 Wise, 149. 1 6 5 James Young, At Memory's Edge, 190-191. i e e Young, 190. 66 the design as "too big and undignified," and rescinded the government's support for the winner of the Holocaust memorial competition. Now under scrutiny was not simply the memorial's design but the degree to which it could and should express collective national responsibility for the Nazi crimes. A new competition was launched in 1997, with a jury comprised of a number of scholars, including the American Holocaust memorial historian James E. Young. The winning submission, by sculptor Richard Serra together with architect Peter Eisenman, consisted of 4000 concrete slabs of varying height arranged like a vast burial ground, or to quote Wise, "an undulating bed of nails for the German national conscience"167 (figure 31). For years after the decision, however, the site remained empty and barren, construction delayed a number of times because of further political and economic obstacles. During this time, the fence that enclosed the weed-choked site hosted an ever-changing discussion in the form of posters, graffiti, and photocopied newspaper articles either supporting or opposing the memorial. At one point, a hand-painted sign which read "Die Diskussion ist ein Mahnmal'168 (figure 32), echoing Young in his 1997 suggestion that, "it may be the finished monument that suggests an end to memory itself, puts a cap on memory-work, and draws a bottom line underneath an era that must always haunt Germany. Better a thousand years of Holocaust memorial competitions in Germany than any single 'final solution' to Germany's memorial problem."169 1 8 7 Wise, 153. les "The discussion is a memorial." See Karen Till, The New Berlin, 1-3. 1 6 9 James E. Young, "Germany's Memorial Questions: Memory, Counter-Memory, and the End of the Monument," paper prepared for the Third Colloquium on the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin, 11 April 1997. For a more detailed discussion of the politics of this monument proposal, as well as James Young's particular role in the debate, see Young, The Art of Memory. A comprehensive discussion of the debate is available in German in the following texts: Ute Heimrod, Gunter Schlusche, and Horst Seferens, eds. Der Denkmalstreit — das Denkmal?: die Debatte um das "Denkmalfur die ermordeten Juden Europas":eine Dokumentation. (Bodenheim: PHILO, 1999); Holger Thunemann, Das Denkmalfur die ermordeten Juden Europas: 67 As was the case in the Federal Republic, in the German Democratic Republic elements of the past considered useful were incorporated, and those that may have compromised the careful construction of its post-war legitimacy were, at least in official discourse, offhandedly disregarded or deliberately repressed. Under state socialism, Marxist-Leninism was not one ideology or political economy among many, but rather the inevitable and jubilant outcome of a discernable historical process. Being that one of the primary justifications of communist rule was its inevitability, the production of history took on tremendous political, ideological, and moral significance. The past was read from the present, and, as Stephen Jones suggests, the primary standard by which events or figures were incorporated into official histories was their usefulness in establishing the legitimacy of the current power holders.170 In the Potsdam agreement of August 1945, the Allies agreed to implement a policy of thorough denazification in their respective zones. The rhetoric surrounding denazification in the Soviet sector rapidly became an essential component in the construction of national identity and public memory for the new German socialist state,171 and remembering the crimes of the Nazi past served the purpose of promoting Dechiffrierierung einer Kontroverse. (Munster: Lit, 2003); Hans-Georg Stavginski, Das Holocaust-Denkmal: der Streit um das "Denkmalfilr die ermordeten Juden Europas" in Berlin (1988-1999). (Paderborn: Schoningh, 2002). 1 7 0 See Rubie Watson, ed., Memory, History and Opposition under State Socialism (Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, 1994). 1 7 1 By April 1947 in the Soviet zone, 850,000 former members of the NSDAP had been examined by 262 denazification commissioners composed primarily of members of the newly formed Sozialistisches Einheitspartei (Socialist Unity Party or SED), the successor party to the KPD; 65,000 people received punishment of some form or other. According to German historian Jeffrey Herf, many of the trials were unjust; numerous cases were decided on the basis of past membership to organizations such as the Nazi Party, the SS or the Wehrmacht, rather than by demonstration of individual responsibility for crimes. "Nazi criminal" became the 68 the new socialist regime in the increasingly antagonistic climate of the Cold War. By 1948 wartime alliances had collapsed, and the antifascist allies of 1941-1945 once again became western imperialists. Overcoming the Nazi past in the German Democratic Republic quickly became synonymous with defeating capitalism. The debate over restitution for those persecuted under National Socialism (in German Wiedergutmachung - literally "to make good again") likewise became infused with the ideological rhetoric of the Cold War. Jews were recognized as "victims of fascism," but communists who politically opposed the National Socialist regime were heralded as "heroes." In the new antifascist state, communist "fighters" and "resistors" were given preferential treatment over supposedly passive Jewish "victims" (even though a large number of pre-war communists had been Jewish), the former being a source of great honour and prestige.172 Jewish restitution demands were pejoratively associated with "foreign" and "imperialist" interests; the idea of the Jew as passive weakling, and use of such terms as "Jewish capital" and "Jewish capitalists" revealed the startling persistence of anti-Semitic stereotypes in the East German post-war debate over restitution. Public remembrance did not imply mourning but evoked instead the uplifting legacy of the "heroes of the antifascist resistance struggle."173 The spaces of commemoration in the new communist state - such as the memorial completed in 1961 at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in the small town of Oranienburg just northeast of Berlin (figure blanket accusation covering persons actually guilty of crimes, as well as others who had simply displeased the East German authorities for a number of reasons. See Jeffrey Herf, Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys (London: Harvard University Press, 1997). 1 7 2 Herf, 81. 1 7 3 quoted in Herf, 164. 69 33) - were inscribed with the muscular vocabulary of such selective remembering, and transformed into stages for its performance.174 Just as East German identity itself was not a clearly determinable constant but rather a complex and volatile set of discursively defined relations, so too the GDR's interpretation of its position vis a vis the Third Reich was multifaceted and continually shifting. Oppositional memories did exist, 1 7 5 and numerous filmmakers and novelists took up the issue of the Jewish genocide throughout the forty years of the GDR's existence. The cinema in particular - an active participant in redefining an East German identity following 1945 - was a potentially powerful tool for alternative readings of the past. Several films, such as Die Russen kommen (The Russians are Coming), directed by Heiner Carow in 1967 (internationally renowned for his 1973 film Der Legende von Paul und Paula), complicated or potentially threatened the official antifascist narrative (and thus the legitimacy of the GDR) . 1 7 6 In the majority of cases, however, such films were banned even before their debut,177 and the East German people were prevented from confronting more uncomfortable issues of complicity and guilt about their past in this otherwise potentially powerful public sphere. Although unsanctioned remembering 1 7 4 In his dedication speech before thousands at the memorials at Sachsenhausen in 1961, party leader Walter Ulbricht stated that although the memorials would recall the suffering of victims, "above all they bear witness to the indefatigable strength of the antifascist resistance fighter and should be seen as "towering signs of victory over fascism." (Quoted in Herf, 176.) 1 7 5 For a discussion of oppositional histories under state socialism in Eastern Europe, the former USSR, and Asia, see Watson, Memory, History and Opposition under State Socialism. 1 7 6 In Die Russen kommen, the end of the Second World War is fast approaching and a sixteen-year-old boy who was a member of the Hitler Youth is taking part in the final effort to resist the approaching Red Army. Captured in the last days of the war, he must answer for his part in the shooting death of a Soviet prisoner. 177 Die Russen kommen, for example, was banned before its official debut in 1967 and was finally screened before the East German public only in 1988. 70 survived quietly throughout the Democratic Republic's existence, the crimes of the Holocaust remained to a great extent externalized as a "western" legacy. For those raised in the socialist state, the crumbling of the Wall signified the end of more than just a particular political ideology and economic system. Soon after unification in October 1990 East Germans were confronted with the sophisticated and well-rehearsed memory and identity politics of their western neighbors, anchored firmly in and through the act of confronting (if only superficially) Germany's dark past.178 Their own versions of a memorial discourse, that carefully tooled narrative coalescing around the heroic figure of the antifascist resistance fighter, were instantly invalidated, leaving them with a thoroughly discredited construction of the Nazi era. They lacked knowledge of the West's memorial history, and were unequipped to engage in its contemporary rhetoric, let alone its complex politics.179 Former East Germans were thus in many ways effectively excluded from a post-1990 accounting with the past, and according to Reinhard Riirup, curator of Berlin's Topography of Terror exhibition site at the former Gestapo headquarters, there is still nothing resembling a distinctly East German voice in post-unification memorial politics.180 1 7 8 In his article "Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia in United Germany: How the Burden of the Past affects the Present," Hermann Kurthen argues that one can distinguish between a more legalistic way of coping with the past in Austria (where the Nazi past was externalized as a German problem), a political approach in the GDR (which universalized Nazi fascism as part of a global class struggle, and a "moral-political-pedagogoical" strategy in West Germany (which internalized and [officially"] accepted moral and material liability for the Nazi crimes). See Hernmann Kurthen et. al, Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia in Germany after Unification (New York: Oxford University Press: 1997), 40. 1 7 9 Wiedmer, 85. 1 8 0 Quoted in Wiedmer, 85. 71 Thus for the former GDR citizens of the Spandauer Vorstadt, the sudden reappearance of the Ostjuden was indeed a double shock. It was the disturbance, in one sense, resulting from the revelation that prior to 1942 the neighborhood had been predominantly populated by Jews, and consequently had been the very site of terrible acts of violence and inhumanity. In numerous press interviews contemporary residents claimed they had been completely unaware of the former ethnic and cultural make-up of the Spandauer Vorstadt. Particularly in the first months of the project, as the artist himself noted, most people responded to this information with "curiosity or outright fascination."181 In another sense however, Attie's installations provoked a more destabilizing shock, resulting from the sudden confrontation with an event - more specifically responsibility for an event - returning from the margins of public memory, which had, for all intents and purposes within official GDR political culture, been mastered decades before. As the year progressed and as economic conditions in former East Berlin deteriorated and the blatant asymmetries of the country's rapid reunification began to reveal themselves, reactions to The Writing on the Wall became increasingly hostile. Attie recounts that upon seeing a projection on his building, one resident called the police, protesting that his neighbours would think he was Jewish; another individual poured water over Attie and his equipment while shouting "Wessi go home."182 A third resident argued with the artist in front of news cameras recording the installation, insisting that he had bought his home "fair and square" from a Mr. Jacob in 1938. When asked if he knew what had happened to the previous owner, the resident 1 8 1 Attie, The Writing on the Wall, 10 . 182 "Wessi." the commonly heard colloquialism for Germans from the West, the complement to "Ossi," or Easterner. 72 responded, "Mr. Jacob was a millionaire and moved to New York." 1 8 3 The resentment expressed by many East Berliners upon encountering The Writing on the Wall in late 1991 speaks to their experience of a doubled displacement. The first displacement of the East German community itself, it's occupations and its way of life by the rapid influx of enterprising Westerners after the fall of the Wall. The second displacement is that of a distinctly East German narrative of the Nazi past by this unheimlich return - invasive and unexplained — of an "other" narrative, one which tells of yet another violent displacement, that of Berlin's Ostjuden. In this way The Writing on the Wall's "collision of ephemeral past and material present"184 briefly illuminated on the walls of the Spandauer Vorstadt, evocatively described by so many of Attie's commentators, can perhaps be better understood as a collision of different interpretations of the past: the past as constructed and narrated by the Democratic Republic, by the Federal Republic, and as understood by Attie himself, shaped by his experience as an American, and as a Jew one generation removed from the experience of the Holocaust. Such an impact could only be possible after unification, at a moment when a unified identity and therefore a unified understanding of the past is not only seen as feasible after forty years of division, but considered crucial for the successful re-construction of a singular German nation and a single Berlin. At this point the discussion must be complicated still further, because while Attie projected these images in the physical space of former East Berlin, they confronted the public of a newly reunified city. Berlin is a place that has repeatedly defined itself 1 8 3 Attie, 10. 1 8 4 Hall, "Ghosts of the Holocaust," 48. 73 through its cultural and material heterogeneity, and its constantly shifting form. Unlike its immediate cousins - Vienna, Paris, or London - Berlin was a late developer in both physical size and political importance. After the country's unification in 1871 the city experienced a series of population explosions unprecedented in Europe both in extent and speed (official census registered 774 000 inhabitants in 1870 to over 2 million by 1910). The urban fabric likewise underwent rapid and destabilizing changes, aggravated, according to one scholar, "by the recurring Berlin mania for demolishing anything more than fifty years old."1 8 5 In his 1921 essay "Berlin, as Viewed from the Landscape," Ernst Bloch writes of the city, often termed "Stadt der Zukunft," ("city of the future"), that, Here, it's especially easy for life to become new. _...~J This Berlin, which itself appears to lack any foundation, turns away from everyone. Many houses seem to have sprung up overnight and could disappear, one believes, just as suddenly.180 He relates this place that "always becomes and never is"187 to the ground on which it was built - not deep bedrock but the shifting, "unfinished" sands of the Mark of Brandenburg. Such metaphors seem even more applicable after 1989, as the city appears to shed its skin daily with the breathtaking speed of innumerable construction projects. However this is a time of disintegrating boundaries — not only between the two Germanys but increasingly after the Maastricht Treaty, between European nations.188 As such, and indeed with considerable historical irony, Germany is faced with forming 1 8 5 Iain Boyd White, "Berlin 1870-1945: an introduction framed by architecture," The Divided Heritage: Themes and Problems in German Modernism, ed. Irit Rogoff (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 228-9. ise E r n s t Bloch, "Berlin, as Viewed from the Landscape," Literary Essays, trans. Andrew Joron et. al. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), 361. 1 8 7 Bloch, 365. 188 During the process of reunification, Germany took the unprecedented step of amending Article 23 of its Basic Law to include commitments to develop the European Union and to realize a united Europe. This step anchored the link between German national and European interests in the constitution. 74 itself into one nation once again at the very moment the countries of the common market are in the process of merging into an integrated Europe. 1 8 9 Thus at this moment of post-Cold War thaw and flux, compounded with the increasing drive within Western European states to envelop individualized nationalisms under the overarching banner of a European Community, Berlin's heterogeneity and perceived rootlessness is now cause for great anxiety. The city's very defining feature is now a hindrance to its successful redefinition as unified and singular, and as capital of a united nation. In the social space of 1991, the figures cast onto the walls of the Spandauer Vorstadt illuminate this anxiety, lodged deep within the fragile construction of "Germanness" and the German nation state. It is an anxiety which lurks behind the Holocaust, and which was pushed, unresolved, to the margins of public memory in both postwar states, only to once again force its way to the surface in the first years after unification. This anxiety is the haunting presence of the literal unheimlich or "not-home-like:" the encounter and definition of the Other in Germany's own self-identity. German nationalism was first realized on the basis of perceived ethnic and cultural commonalities. The concept of "Germany" had been a psychological and cultural reality for centuries, although the unitary German state was not realized until 1871. "Germanness" was based not on membership in a civic-territorial community but rather on the intertwined notions of unity through ethnic or volkisch ties, a common Christian 1 8 9 Hans Belting makes this point in The Germans and their Art: A Troublesome Relationship, trans. Scott Kleager (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998). He comments, "unification, as opposed to German integration into the EEC, seems to repeat 1870 and the problems of the founding of Imperial Germany, which for many came as an untimely surprise. We have remained true, it seems, to the logic of the 'belated nation,' that painful path to nationhood taken by Germany in modern times." See Belting, 103. 75 heritage, and a shared history, culture and language (a Kulturnation). Germany's Law of Citizenship (Reichs- und Staatsangehorigkeitsgesetz), passed only in 1913, was formulated explicitly on this notion of cultural nationalism, and granted citizenship on the basis of blood lineage rather than by membership in a state territory. In an attempt to ease internal tension over the growing presence of foreigners, the law severed citizenship from residence, preserving citizenship rights of ethnic Germans living outside state boundaries while simultaneously excluding those inside the country with differing religious beliefs, ethnicity, or cultural practices. After the fall of the Third Reich in 1945, the mass flight of refugees to the West and the division of the country once more put the "German question" of nationhood and citizenship on the agenda. Envisioning the post-war Federal Republic only as a provisional state, and acknowledging that many prior Germans were not included in the shrunken territory of West Germany, the framers of the Basic Law recognized a certain class of rights inherent to the quality of being German, irrespective of formal state affiliation. Ethnic Germans (who have automatic right of entry into and citizenship in the FRG) enjoyed positive discrimination, while naturalization was actively discouraged for non-German foreign nationals, even those who had lived in the F R G their entire lives. In fact, despite the high numbers of foreign nationals living in the Federal Republic after 1960, particularly the invited Gastarbeiter (guest workers), West Germany had (and unified Germany continues to have) one of the lowest naturalization rates in Europe. This ethnic rather than territorial conception remained the defining basis for the contemporary German understanding of citizenship until as recently as 1998, with the result that all discussions on the subject (carried to murderous extremes during the Third Reich) remained mired in concepts of ethnicity and race. This asymmetry is deeply embedded 76 even at the level of language, within the terms used to characterize "natives" and "foreigners." The word Germans use to describe themselves as natives or locals is not Eingeborene, which is translated as "native" or literally "one who is born here," and is used mainly to speak of aboriginal or indigenous people. Rather, the word in common usage is einheimisch, literally "one who is at home here." This term is seldom if ever used to describe Turks or Jews, no matter how long such people or their ancestors have resided in Germany. 1 9 0 Indeed, despite the reality of high numbers of non-ethnic Germans and their dependents creating lives in reunified Germany, the oft-repeated myth (frequently articulated by former Chancellor Helmut Kohl) that Germany is "kein Einwanderungsland" ("not an immigration country") continues to be upheld.191 To quote the political scientist Christian Lemke, "as long as German identity can only be gained through birth rather than through place of birth or residence, German culture will remain trapped in the myth of homogeneity."192 At the moment of Attie's installations in late 1991, the issue of "Germanness" had exploded into the public sphere. As the newly reunified country (that is, a country which had recently absorbed the population of East Germany) faced unprecedented 1 9 0 See Jeffrey Peck, et.al, "Natives, Strangers, and Foreigners: Constituting Germans by Constructing Others," in After Unity: Reconfiguring German Identities, ed. Konrad H. Jarausch (Prvidence: Berghahn Books, 1997), 61. 1 9 1 Since the election of Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and the SPD-Green coalition in 1998, the centre-left liberalizers of the Verfassungsnation camp (a 'constitutionalist' approach to state-citizenship relations) appear to be in the ascendancy on questions of German citizenship. Since this time, developments in policy debates have begun to favor naturalization for those foreigners already resident in Germany, while citizenship for those outside territorial boundaries whose claims are based on ethnic ties will gradually become more restricted. In 1999 a law reforming the Right of Citizenship was passed, which came into effect January 1, 2000 . However, there are indications that wide sections of the German public continue to be more in sympathy with a Kulturnation or even and Ultra-Kulturnation stance. See Patricia Hogwood, "Citizenship Controversies in Germany: the twin legacy of volkisch nationalism and the Alleinvertretungsanspruch." ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops (Copenhagen, 2000). 1 9 2 Peck, et. al. After Unity, 137. 77 immigration from the increasingly unstable Balkans and the disintegrating former Soviet states, the number of acts of brutality towards foreigners alarmingly increased in both the former East and West, with xenophobic violence culminating in September 1991 in the events at Hoyserwerda and Saarlouis193 and again in Rostock1 9 4 at the end of August 1992 . 1 9 5 Attracted by one of the most liberal asylum policies in the world, hundreds of thousands of political and economic refugees crowded into Germany in the first years after unification (particularly in 1991 and 1992), overtaxing local resources. At the same time, the re-emigration of "ethnic Germans" from Eastern Europe and the former USSR further strained the tolerance of the working population. Long before the 193 From September 1 8 - 2 3 1991, crowds of skinheads, along with many local citizens, gathered in front of a shelter for approximately 150 foreigners mainly from Vietnam and Mozambique. Right-wing youths used clubs, stones and Molotov cocktails to attach the shelter, trying on several occasions to storm the building. They were supported and encouraged by the local population. On the afternoon of September 21, all women and children were evacuated from the building, however, the attacks continued and in fact became increasingly violent over the next three days. Inhabitants were told by police to stay in their rooms; no one was arrested. Finally the remaining foreigners were evacuated from the shelter on September 23. On September 19, 1991, in the West German town of Saarlouis, a refugee shelter was firebombed. Samuel Yeboah, a 27-year-old from Ghana, died in the fire, and two Nigerians were severely burned. 1 9 + On August 22, 1992, right-wing skinheads gathered in front of a complex for foreigners, including an asylum shelter for guestworkers, in the Lichtenhagen section of Rostock. Over the next two days, the numbers of skinheads grew, as did the number of onlookers and sympathizers from the town. Each evening they gathered in front of the shelter to throw stones, Molotov cocktails, and shouted anti-foreigner slogans, fighting the approximately 150 police sent to protect the shelter. By August 24, Rostock officials decided that two hundred people, largely Romanian Sinti, living in the shelter should be moved. However the approximately 150 Vietnamese guestworkers who lived in a building next to the shelter were not moved. On the evening of August 24, the police had withdrawn and the area was once again surrounded by skinheads and others, and the building inhabited by guestworkers began to burn. Fire officials were unable to approach the building for several minutes because they too were attacked by the rioters. 195 Most of the xenophobically motivated crimes were committed spontaneously by local and young offenders, and many were imitative, and there was at the time no proof of central planning by right-wing extremist organization. However in 1992 some 42 400 people in Germany belonged to extremist groups, 2600 more than in 1991. That figure excluded the 23 000 members of the "Republikaner" party. Of those 42 400 people, 6400 were militant right wind extremists, particularly National Socialist skinheads. See United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, Summary Record of the 999 t h meeting: Germany, 16/08/93, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on Wednesday, 11 August 1993, Chairman: Mr. Valencia Rodriguez. http://www.unhchr,ch/tbs.doc.nsf. 78 Wall had fallen, the Federal Republic's immigration policy had given preferential treatment to foreigners with a claim to "Germanhood." Even at that time, as Peter Schneider observes, It should have been obvious that the Federal Republic's invitation to all Germans would remain heartfelt only so long as the East German authorities kept the masses of potential guests away. When the Wall became more porous with Gorbachev's glasnost, the West Germans' joy at reuniting declined visibly. They paled when they saw how many people they'd invited. Two hundred thousand ethnic German re-settlers arrived in 1988, and about 350,000 in 1989, and that doesn't include the East German refugees. In 1990, between 400,000 and 450,000 ethnic Germans 'came home,' as the West Germans put it. West German authorities gritted their teeth and hailed the influx as a success.196 The definition of one who an outsider or "other" is never stable or fixed, and in immediate post-unification Germany, the term could be applied to various and shifting groups of people: foreign asylum seekers, third generation immigrants, ethnic Germans from the east, or former East Germans themselves. A worsening economic situation, caused in part by the increasingly heavy costs of unification, exacerbated an already insecure German population, causing many to interpret the sudden influx of Fremde or "strangers" as a profoundly destabilizing experience. Tension within Germany in the first years after unification was brought to boiling point not by foreign nationals already resident within the country but rather by the threatening and unknown masses perceived, with help from the media, as pouring in through the borders. "Right-wing politicians deflected the growing popular anger onto the smallest group of immigrants: the non-Germans, the asylum seekers," Schneider states. "But the electorate wouldn't make the difference between good German re-settlers and bad foreign asylum-seekers."197 196 p eter Schneider, The German Comedy, 9. 1 9 7 Schneider, 9. 7 9 As early as spring 1989, a Mannheim research group began referring to the growing "confusion": "the term 'foreigner' had come to include German re-settlers from the East and really meant 'anything from outside.'"198 While the first outbreaks of violence were directed against asylum seeking refugees,199 public resentment was nevertheless increasingly unleashed on anyone who looked or acted "not German:" African-Germans, German Jews, and most often, Turks. 2 0 0 Although violent attacks on foreigners in 1991 and 1992 were indeed committed by small extremist groups not representative of the population at large, at the moment of Attie's installation in the Spandauer Vorstadt in the early 1990s, native German attitudes towards foreigners had indeed become severely strained and polarized.201 1 9 8 Schneider, 9. 189 p o r a detailed account of these attacks, see Kurthen et. al, Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia in Germany after Unification, eds. Hermann Kurthen et. al. (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997). 200 l n November 1992 two houses inhabited by Turks were set aflame in the town of Molln. [See Klaus Bade, "Immigration and Social Peace in United Germany," Daedalus (Winter 1994): 95.] Turks are the largest non-German ethnic group in the Federal Republic — approximately 1.8 million currently reside in Germany. Some sixty percent of these have resided in Germany for ten or more years, almost half are women and more than two thirds of the children, called Auslanderkinder, were born in Germany. Despite the long residency of these immigrant laborers and their dependants (West Germany began recruiting Turkish workers in the early 1960s to boost population and to aid in the implementation of the postwar "economic miracle"), they do not enjoy the rights of political citizenship, such as the right to vote or the right to stand in local or national elections. Following regulations established by the 1992 Maastrict Treaty, only EU nationals enjoy greater political rights such as voting in the country of residency. Thus, representation of minorities in German politics is weak. Social rights, such as health care, education, and pensions are more easily granted to foreigners than political rights. Though the notion of the Turkish German is becoming more prevalent as second and third generation Turks become German citizens, the Turk is still often regarded as the generic foreigner. By virtue of being Muslim, unlike the other guest workers from Yugoslavia, Italy, or Portugal, the Turkish have had a more difficult time being accepted. 2 0 1 In 1991, the topics of foreigners and asylum ranked second in the public mind, after the problems of German unification. In October 1992, the dubiously termed "problem of foreigners" was ranked highest in western Germany and was in third position in eastern Germany after issues of unemployment and economic growth. See Klaus Bade, "Immigration and Social Peace in United Germany," Daedalus (Winter 1994), 93. 80 Throughout its history the area roughly corresponding to the Spandauer Vorstadt has confounded Germany's imagined homogeneity and its mythic self-definition as "kein Einwanderungsland." As one of Berlin's most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, it accrued meaning under the designation Scheunenviertel or "Barn Quarter:" a filthy, dangerous area riddled with crime and prostitution, marked off from the rest of the city as a cognitive category as well as material fact. It was a place, to borrow the words of cultural geographer Kay Anderson, constructed through the intertwining categories of class and race.202 Until the early 1800s the district, dominated by barns and cattle sheds, had lain outside city gates. As Berlin industrialized into a centre of industry and technology, the area became home to immigrant and lower-class workers of different ethnicities employed in the wool and silk industries. However culturally differentiated, the Scheunenviertel was soon seen primarily in terms of its large and visible Jewish presence,203 and it was the Ostjuden, or Jews from the East, with which the quarter became synonymous. Tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants from the Russian provinces of Poland arrived in the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century, fleeing persecution in the East. As Steven Aschheim has demonstrated in his study on the Ostjuden, the notion that the Eastern European Jews constituted a foreign and inassimilable element was a pervasive one in German society.204 The idea of the Scheunenviertel as anachronistic, "a strange, sad ghetto world," populated by "grotesque eastern figures" 2 0 2 See Kay Anderson, "The Idea of Chinatown: The Power of Place and Institutional Practice in the Making of a Racial Category," Annals of the Association of American Geographers 77: 4 (1987), 580-598. 203 p r o m 1671, the so-called Schutzjuden (Jews protected by the Prussian ruler) had settled in the area. 2 0 4 See Steven Aschheim, Brothers and Strangers: The Eastern European Jew in German and German Jewish Consciousness, 1800-1923. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1982). 81 who infiltrate Berlin, in the words of 1920s writer Joseph Roth, "like an avalanche of disaster and dirt, growing in volume and rolling irresistibly from the east over Germany,"205 was one circulated not only by Gentiles but also by liberal and assimilated middle-class German Jews. During the last years of the First World War and throughout the Weimar Republic, Germany was rocked with severe domestic unrest, and Jews were increasingly accused of profiting from such socioeconomic crises as the food shortage and rampant inflation. In Berlin in November 1923, the growing anti-Semitic hysteria over the so-called "Gefahr aus dem Osten" ("danger from the East") and bitterness over rising unemployment and inflated prices sparked a riotous crowd of thousands, provoked by a rumour that Eastern Jews from the Scheunenviertel had bought up all the relief money in order to lend it at higher rates, to descend upon the area of the Spandauer Vorstadt, looting and vandalizing shops and private homes, and attacking residents and merchants who attempted to save their property.206 Being one of the city's most 2 0 5 Michael Bienert, ed., Joseph Roth in Berlin: Ein Lesebuchfiir Spaziergdnger (Cologne, 1996), 73-79. Quoted in David Clay Large, "Out with the Ostjuden: The Scheunenviertel Riots in Berlin, November, 1923," Exclusionary Violence: Anti-Semitic Riots in Modern German History, ed. Christhard Hoffmann, et.al. (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2002), 129. 2 0 6 Scholars disagree on the nature and implications of the Scheunenviertel riot. Some historians see the upheaval as a product of growing frustration among Berlin's unemployed workers over food shortages and high prices, and argue that the increasing number of disturbances in Berlin point to the society's general willingness to abandon sanctioned norms of civic behavior in the name of redressing social grievances (Scholz, 1984). Others see the November 1923 riot as the fruit of systematic agitation by volkisch elements, abetted by willful incompetence on the part of the Berlin police, and point to the breakdown of political justice in the Weimar state (Maurer, 1993). Still others view the Scheunenviertel riot as Berlin's first Jewish pogrom, and as an ominous sign of things to come (Kruppa, 1988; Zilkenat, 1994). However, as Large notes, there is no evidence to support claims that the Scheunenviertel riot was organized or even sparked by right-wing extremist groups — the outbreak was spontaneous, and the majority of the participants belonged to the traditional constituency of the Left rather than the radical Right. As Large has pointed out, whatever else the Scheunenviertel riot of 1923 may indicate, it demonstrated how quickly and easily socioeconomic frustrations could boil over into anti-Semitic violence and how broad the anti-Semitic currents ran in postwar German society. For a 82 underprivileged quarters, the Scheunenviertel was certainly not a lucrative target: impoverished and working-class Eastern Jews living there could hardly be said to be prospering from the desperate conditions of the society at large. It is clear, then, that not only did the highly visible and visibly foreign Ostjuden provide an easily identifiable target for the venting of socioeconomic frustrations and racial hate, but that the Scheunenviertel itself represented the spatial manifestation of an imagined alien presence threatening both German state security and cultural norms. Attie found that searching for visual evidence of a distinct pre-WWII Jewish culture in Berlin was difficult, ironically, not because this culture did not exist, but because the majority of Berlin's large Jewish population was assimilated to the point of being effectively invisible, indistinguishable from the rest of society.207 In order for the installations to be register as unheimlich with their audiences, the artist drew upon images that conformed to and underscored the notion of the archetypical Jew in the German mind: the Ostjude, a foreign figure from the East, strange in custom, dress, and language. "The atypical Orthodox Jew," as Dora Apel suggests in her book Memory Effects: The Holocaust and the Art of Secondary Witness, "thus becomes the paradigmatic German Jew and a stand-in for all Jews."208 Underscoring this is Attie's use of the anachronistic term Scheunenviertel instead of the less politicized and geographically accurate Spandauer Vorstadt to describe the installation's location in his writings, even though the project's site extended well past the boundaries of the former more in-depth discussion on the divergent opinions among historians over the significance of the Scheunenviertel riot, see Large, 124-126. 2 0 7 Apel, Memory Effects: The Holocaust and the Art of Secondary Witness (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2000), 58. 2 0 8 Apel, 58. 83 Scheunenviertel. One could argue that for Attie, The Writing on the Wall was necessarily sited within the Scheunenviertel as a socially constructed place instead of the contemporary Spandauer Vorstadt. This imagined space of Otherness - the very spatial coordinates constructed, one century ago, within and against the rest of the city as a malignant tumour or alien body - is thus reactivated, not simply by Attie's choice of subject but by the very naming of his site.209 Attie's use of the archive photograph is central to the uncanny strangeness of his project; not surprisingly it is also this aspect of his work that has most captured the imaginations of his commentators. In the installation's catalogue essay, James E. Young writes: As the original archival photographs captured traces of reflected light and dark from the pre-war Scheunenviertel, the artist's photographs of the installations would now capture the light of the photographic images themselves as projected onto building walls. The analogue between the mechanical process of photography and the memory of images recorded by the mind's eye is literalized here: in both cases, reflected light imprints itself on light-sensitive surfaces, whether film or retina, that bear its traces afterwards.210 In most analyses of The Writing on the Wall, as in Young's statement above, it is photography's profound ability to express loss that not only structures the discussion but also provides an evocative metaphor for the fragility of memory. Contrary to other artistic media, as Roland Barthes states in Camera Lucida, in photography one "can 2 0 9 It is worth noting that the majority of authors writing on Attie's Berlin installations have also (and perhaps unwittingly) perpetuated this socially and racially constructed place by also using the term Scheunenviertel in their discussions. 2 1 0 Young, Sites Unseen, 11. 84 never deny that the thing has been there."211 It is the photograph's sense of "that has been" that Barthes accredits such indexical power and its fundamental sadness, its ability to signify death as well as life, to record, in Susan Sontag's words, "the vulnerability of lives heading toward their own destruction."212 Each captured image measures the temporal and spatial distance that separates the moment and our place of viewing it from the moment and place it was made. It is this sense of separation, of the irrevocable gap between the perceived image and the now-vanished world from which it came, which is the fundamental pathos of the photograph. Furthermore, as Mark Godfrey offers in a recent article on the work of Tacita Dean, the creator of the project Die Regimentstochter with which I opened my discussion, "if any photograph reveals to its viewer his temporal distance from the moment of exposure, and his separation from the subject of the photograph, then it does so much more so when the image is of a complete stranger, for the viewer is distanced from the person to start with."213 This is also precisely the potency of the archive photograph. What is mutely revealed through that photographic object so meticulously documented and filed for posterity is merely the utter inadequacy of its authority, and its failure, in the end, to tell us anything about the subjects pictured. In the case of photography associated with the Holocaust, particularly those images of European Jews taken shortly before the onset of institutionalized Nazi persecution, the pathos of the photograph is greatly intensified, as our knowledge of the events that 2 1 1 Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (New York: Hill and Wang, 1987), 76. 2 1 2 Susan Sontag, On Photography (New York: Anchor Books, 1990), 70. 2 1 3 Mark Godfrey, "Photography Found and Lost: On Tacita Dean's Floh," October 114 (Fall 2005), 103. 85 await the figures in the image chafes against the unknowability of the individuals themselves. The utter everydayness of the scene in Ruckerstrajie 4: Slide Projection of Jewish Residents (ca. 1925) (figure 34), where one woman leans out her first story apartment window to chat with a friend pausing with her baby carriage on the sidewalk, is made poignant in hindsight, by our knowledge that these kinds of casual, lazy encounters would, for the residents of the pre-war Spandauer Vorstadt, soon be severed. The disintegrating brick facade of the building onto which these figures are projected, which appears as though eaten away by acid, seems to suggest the violence that lays ahead, the destruction of those familial and community ties. According to Michael Bernstein, it is the faithfulness of these archive images, their "realness," which makes them a devastatingly accurate marker of what has happened since. What Shimon Attie has done in his Berlin installations, Bernstein asserts, Is to thematize the sense of separation and loss fundamental to photography by evoking spectres from a world which was never allowed to become the past through normal rhythms of gradual evolution and decay - a world whose brutal obliteration has made its very absence a question haunting our lives and practices today.214 One might say, in the words of another author, that "we cannot look at their faces without seeing, as they could not, all that lay ahead of them." 2 1 5 The loss we feel in viewing this captured past, hovering against the walls of the contemporary Spandauer Vorstadt, is not the elegiac pang of absence brought about by "natural" change, but the anguish of a violent and chillingly calculated severing. 2 1 4 Michael Andre Bernstein, "Images as Memory - Memory of Images," in Attie, The Writing on the Wall, 7. 2 1 5 Charles Hall, "Ghosts of the Holocaust," 48. 86 However, such singular focus on loss threatens to obscure the politics of Attie's project as it is encountered in the space of Berlin in 1991-2. The act of looking at historic photographs, as Allan Sekula suggests in his essay "Photography between Labour and Capital," is never innocent. Rather it is imbued with a voyeurism that "characteristically veers between nostalgia, horror, and an overriding sense of the exoticism of the past."-16 In The Writing on the Wall Shimon Attie augments this already present exoticism by setting the faded black and white images against a backdrop of the contemporary city. The juxtaposition is a problematic one. While the layering of past against present jarringly evokes the violence and the lost histories of the intervening fifty years, at the same time such a juxtaposition merely heightens the obsolescence of the imaged Ostjuden; the exoticism of the old is dangerously conflated with the exoticism of the Other. In Mulackstrasse 37, Former kosher butcher shop and laundry, 1930 (figure 35), the ghostly figure of a woman is faintly visible amidst layers of graffiti and Hebrew text. She is surrounded by words of defiance scrawled after the fall of the Wall; bitter messages like "Was der Krieg verschonte" ("what the war has spared,") and "der Kampf geht wetter" ("the struggle continues") betray the anger and the resolve of a former East German community disillusioned and displaced by the profoundly asymmetrical experience of reunification. It is almost a truism to state that in twentieth century Berlin, walls are rarely mute. Here in the Spandauer Vorstadt the pockmarked, crumbling facades, soon to be stripped of their decades of grime, refinished and repackaged for tourists and wealthier (and predominantly western) Berliners, speak the many - and often 2 1 6 Allan Sekula, "Reading and Archive: Photography between Labor and Capital," Visual Culture: the reader. Eds. Jessica Evans and Stuart Hall. (London: Sage Publications), 189. 8 7 conflicting - voices struggling to be heard in a rapidly westernizing and gentrifying neighborhood. During the moments of Attie's projection another explosive layer, that of Hebrew text - shop window signs for a long vanished kosher butcher and laundry -rubs up against this angry writing on the wall (see Mulackstrafie 32: Slide Projection of Kosher Butcher Shop [1930J, figure 36). For the brief minutes of the installation, the surface of the buildings thickens and becomes clotted with meaning. Such potent signifiers of Judaism would in any situation trigger reactions as diverse as the audiences encountering them, but for those living in the specific cultural and political coordinates of the Spanduaer Vorstadt, and raised in a state not known for its open discussion of Jewish persecution, the sudden presence of the Hebrew language would be foreign, startling, and highly charged. I would argue that in the space of the former West Berlin, where the Hebrew language has enjoyed greater cultural presence and visibility (especially in commemorative plaques at Holocaust memorials and other public art) at least since the 1960s, reactions to the same text, though no less symbolically charged, would have been considerably less intense. For older onlookers, particularly for those whose memory can recall that the mere presence of this language in shop windows incited violence in the riots of 1923 and ominous, organized destruction of Kristallnacht'7 on the night of November 9 t h 1938 (figure 37), the return of such text might provoke sadness, outrage, or very possibly ardent denial. For younger audiences, the reaction 2 1 7 Kristallnacht (also known as Reichskristallnacht or Pogromnacht), in English "Night of Broken Glass," stands out as the National Socialist state's first bureaucratically organized and executed persecution of the Jews, and as such a direct forecast of the Holocaust. On the night of November 9 t h , 1938, and continuing into the next morning, rampaging mobs throughout Germany and the newly acquired territories of Austria and Sudetenland (headed by Hitler's Sturmabteilung or Storm Troopers [SA"J) freely attacked Jews in the streets, in their homes, and at their places of work and worship. No less than ninety-six Jews were killed and hundreds more injured, more than 1000 synagogues were burned, 7500 Jewish businesses were destroyed, cemeteries and schools were vandalized, and 30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps. 88 might well be one of exasperation or defiance, either out of an unwillingness to bear the burdensome guilt of a previous generation, or out of the conviction that the presence of this foreign text is yet another threatening claim to the already besieged space of the Spandauer Vorstadt. Amidst all of this, blurred, reduced to her most basic shape and devoid of all detail, the figure of the unknown woman of Mulackstrafie 37 is hardly noticeable, illegible and irrelevant next to the highly potent messages that surround her, as though a silent witness to both the violent displacements of the past and those of the present. While indeed a statement about our always inadequate attempts to recall the past, Attie's use of the archive photograph must also be understood as a carefully constructed strategic device. When faced with the scarcity of local historical photographs available for the project, Attie (in approximately five out of seventy installations) employed images from other Jewish quarters and ghettos in Eastern Europe from about the same period.2 1 8 The image of the two boys in Mulackstrasse 37: Former Jewish Residents, ca. 1932 (see figure 18), for example, is actually the fragment of a Nazi propaganda photograph taken in the Warsaw Ghetto during the early 1940s (figure 38). Each one of Attie's installations is as much carefully staged event as original occasion,219 as much an imagined Scheunenviertel fabricated in the artist's mind as the re-visioning of a real community. Thus the idea of the archive photograph, with all its assumed historical accuracy and, to recall Barthes again, its "being-there-ness," is put in play precisely to trigger an emotive response in its audience, to produce a shudder of "what was." 2 1 8 See Attie, The Writing on the Wall, 11. 2 1 9 Amanda Hopkinson, "Through the Past Darkly," The British Journal of Photography 6976 (June 1994), 26. 89 Though on the one hand self-consciously positioning himself as the compound "artist-historian," Attie refuses accountability for the historical accuracy of his practice, and when pushed, quickly reasserts his fundamental creative prerogative as "artist" by drawing a line between his work and that of one who merely records traces of the past. "When it was necessary," Attie affirms, "to choose between being a good historian and -hopefully - a good artist, I always chose the latter."220 Similarly, the screen upon which these unheimlich guests are projected is also carefully constructed. Although Attie's initial intention had been to project the pre-war photographs onto the exact addresses in the Spandauer Vorstadt where they had been captured over a half century earlier, he found that the majority of these buildings had either been bombed during the last years of the war and torn down subsequently, to be left as empty sites or replaced by concrete Plattenbauten, the pre-fabricated housing projects common throughout the socialist regime. Projecting the slide of an historical photograph onto a post-war building for the sake of geographical accuracy often resulted in what Attie termed "visual and aesthetic failure," as the historic images "simply did not correspond in any way" with what replaced them.2 2 1 The artist instead directed his projector light toward the facades of the century-old Mietskaserne or "rental barracks" which still define the Spandauer Vorstadt. These ubiquitous five to six story apartment blocks were built primarily between 1858 and 1862 during the city's rapid expansion, to house the exploding foreign worker population. Narrow facades and multiple interior courtyards (which grew increasingly dark and airless as they receded) with a single street access allowed developers to maximize their return on a deep site 2 2 0 Attie, 11. 2 2 1 Attie, 10. 90 with narrow frontage. Once identified with the immigrant working poor and now facing complete re-signification as "cultural heritage" in a gentrified post-unification playground, Attie captures these structures in a state of decay. Pockmarked by shrapnel fire and crumbling from years of neglect, their ornamental plaster facades and window surrounds are disintegrating to expose the brick core beneath (see figure 18), and with it, anxiously, the very thinness of such "cultural" veneers. The Mietskaserne provide a porous and vulnerable surface on which these carefully strategized hauntings may occur, and upon which a repressed Frem.de may once again come to light. We might also remember that our discussion here, which takes place over a decade after the completion of Shimon Attie's Berlin project, is reliant not upon the particular moments of projection themselves, but rather upon Attie's purposefully chosen set of published photographic images that document them. Our apprehension and analysis of The Writing of the Wall is mediated through this carefully framed and cropped, colour-enhanced interface, which constructs and shapes Attie's intended effect. The image entitled Gipstrafte 23a: Slide Projection of Jewish Residents (ca. 1925) (figure 39), for instance, strategically includes within its frame the exposed Brandwand or "fire wall" of a building neighboring a nearby vacant lot. The blank vertical surfaces of Brandwande, such as those utilized by Christian Boltanski in Missing House only blocks away, are a familiar sight throughout central Berlin. They appear frequently, like abrupt and unintended pauses in a row of buildings. This Brandwand, however, preserves the imprint of the neighbor to which it was formerly attached in the form of a brick outline, a more diminutive and considerably older pitched-roof structure. Like the fingerprint or trace of a lost person, the visible absence of the former building echoes the ghostlike 91 presence of the young figures momentarily projected at the door of the neighboring apartment. Attie uses a similar strategy in 119 Joachimstrafe/'corner Auguststrafie: former Jewish resident (figure 40). Here a building's white window mullions, brightly illuminated by the artist's projector light, create relentless rows of white crosses, a tense counterpart to the focus of the projection across the street, where a Star of David appears above the bent head of a reading figure. It can indeed be argued that "by making the presence of the murdered Jews visible," as Dora Apel suggests, Shimon Attie "stirred a political pot already boiling over,"222 and illuminated the tense debates on the subject of foreigners in Germany. Much like the debate which erupted two years later over plans to erect a memorial on the site of a desecrated synagogue in the affluent southwestern Berlin district of Steglitz, wherein the proposal for a mirrored wall 2 2 3 inscribed with the names of Steglitz Jews deported during the Holocaust and a statement by the contemporary German-Jewish journalist Chaim Schneider, "Wie vor funfzig Jahren fuhlt man sich als Jude, als Asylant, als Ausldnder,"22* was met with a storm of protest by local citizens and politicians,225 Attie's 2 2 2 Apel, Memory Effects, 44. 2 2 3 The winning Spiegelwand (Mirrored Wall) submission, announced in the summer of 1993, was designed by Wolfgang Goschel, Joachim von Rosenberg, and Hans-Norbert Burkert. 224 "Now, as in fifty years ago, one has to regard oneself as a Jew, an asylum seeker, a foreigner." See Klaus Hartung, "Steglitzer Spiegel," Die Zeit 34 (August 27, 1993), section Landerspiegel, 7. 2 2 5 Perhaps tellingly, the ensuing discussion offered every possibly criticism of the proposed Spiegelwand while remaining silent on the disquieting quotation itself. According to the memorial's many critics, it was argued to: "Resemble a new Berlin Wall; be hostile to human beings, as it would be established in the middle of a marketplace; provoke traffic accidents; define all Steglitz citizens as philistines who ought to look in the mirror; be placed in front of a synagogue that was not a place of murder and deportation; encourage anti-Jewish graffiti that would gain attention in the national and international press and especially provoke Jewish responses; be unable, as a mirrored wall, to serve the blind." (See Ibid., 7). For two years the district council of Steglitz attempted to modify the design, reduce its size, and cancel the project altogether. The Berlin city government, fearing embarrassment, eventually overruled the district council, and the Spiegelwand was installed in 1995. For a discussion on the Steglitz 92 installation brings the narratives of Berlin's pre-war persecution of Jews uncomfortably close to its contemporary intolerance of "Others." But while Steglitz's Holocaust memorial was finally constructed without the offending quotation (figure 41), so that its publics could view their reflections without confronting the recent attacks against foreign guest workers and asylum seekers, I would claim that Attie's projector light is far more disruptive. In fact what the project illuminates is what we might, after Victor Burgin, call the space of paranoia that operates in the heart of the nation.2 2 6 Taking his leave from Edward Said's discussion on the nature of exile, particularly Said's understanding that exile and nationalism function as "two conflicting varieties of paranoia,"227 Burgin theorizes the psychic space of nationalism. In psychosis boundaries fail and frontiers are breached, Burgin argues. In paranoiac space, an external object may be experienced as if it had invaded the subject. This sense of being invaded may be projected onto some larger screen than that of the paranoiac's own body; the threat may be seen as directed against some greater body with which the paranoiac identifies, namely the 'body-politic' of nation or race.228 Abolished from the discourse of the subject, Burgin states, the invading element "returns" in the form of a delusion or hallucination. So too the Other, whether early twentieth century Ostjuden or contemporary Ausldnder, banished to the margins of German self-identification, returns in this moment soon after unification as the apparition from a terrible episode in the past, to disrupt a neighborhood invested with hopes of safe cosmopolitanism. The Spiegelwand, see Brian Ladd, "Center and Periphery in the New Berlin: Architecture, Public Art, and the Search for Identity," PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 2 2 . 2 (May 2 0 0 0 ) , 18. 2 2 ( i Victor Burgin, "Paranoiac Space," New Formations 12 (Winter 1 9 9 0 ) , 61 -75 . 2 2 7 Edward Said, Reflections on Exile and other Essays (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2 0 0 0 ) , 162 . 2 2 8 Burgin, "Paranoiac Space," 6 9 . 93 image of the foreign Jew - the not-at-home, the unheimlich — momentarily illuminates the constricted and exclusionary space of traditionally defined German identity desperately sought, yet at the same time anxiously repressed, after 1989. Projected onto the screen of the rapidly changing city, the flickering images of the unheimlich Others themselves become the screen onto which is projected, in the words of historian and film theorist Eric Santner, "all that which keeps Germans from feeling continuous with themselves."229 In those brief moments of projection, to quote Homi Bhabha, "the boundary that secures the cohesive limits of the western nation" has "imperceptively turn_ad~J into a contentious internal liminality that provides a place from which to speak both of, and as, the minority, the exilic, the marginal and the emergent."230 In 1991 Shimon Attie exposes the tender edges of Germany's post-unification identity, and transforms the burgeoning district of Berlin's Spandauer Vorstadt into a destabilized, alien place, a place befitting of the remark that, "once the border between East and West, Berlin is now at the heart of our bewilderment as to what it means to be European."231 2 2 9 Eric Santner, "On the Difficulty of Saying 'We': the Historian's Debate and Edgar Reitz's Heimat," Framing the Past: The Historiography of German Cinema and Television, ed. Bruce A. Murray and Christopher J. Wickham (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 269. 2 3 0 Homi Bhabha, "Dissemination," Nation and Narration (New York: Routledge), 300. 2 3 1 Charles Hall, "Ghosts of the Holocaust,"48. 94 CHAPTER TWO Exhumations A facade admits certain acts to the realm of what is visible, whether they occur on the facade itself (on balconies, window ledges, etc.) or are to be seen from the facade (processions in the street, for example). Many other acts, by contrast, it condemns to obscenity: these occur behind the facade. Henri Lefebvre232 The trick of elimination is every expert's defensive reflex. Stanislaw Lem 2 3 3 To look for Berlin's historic origins, the point from which the city began its slow unravel across the sandy Mark Brandenburg, one must walk a short distance southwest of the Spandauer Vorstadt to the Spreeinsel, a modest island of land carved from two arms of the river Spree. The walk is not at all satisfying, for the further away one travels from the nineteenth-century working-class quarter and towards the intended destination, the more one becomes convinced that such a destination does not exist. Certainly, one's arrival on the Spreeinsel is greeted by the unmistakable silhouettes of Berlin's grandest structures: the ornate hulk of the Berliner Dom, the colonnaded facade 2 3 2 Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, 9 9 . 2 3 3 Stanislaw Lem, quoted in W.G. Sebald, On the Natural History of Destruction, trans. Anthea Bell (Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf 2003), frontispiece. 95 of Karl Friedrich Schinkel's Altes Museum, and his celebrated Schlossbriicke. But conspicuously absent from this expansive view are any of the familiar signifiers that mark it out as a traditional German Stadtmitte: visitors find no tightly knotted system of streets here. Rather than the characteristic five-storey buildings set closely against one another and huddled protectively around a cobblestone square, one is confronted by a vast and windswept space. There seems to be too great a distance between the monumental structures; wide expanses of asphalt are punctuated at intervals only by the odd automobile or determined tuft of weeds. The area's centrality ensured that its pre-war density was entirely obliterated by Allied air strikes in the last years of World War II, and subsequently its location within the German Democratic Republic, which lacked a competitive real estate market and the financial means for reconstruction, ensured that this density was never recovered. Also curiously absent from this sprawling emptiness are any of the signs — unavoidable elsewhere in the city - that confirm the location of this place to be post-unification Berlin. While construction cranes and clouds of rising dust and noise quite literally surround the Spreeinsel in a circumference of frenetic activity, here all of those signifiers of Berlin's transformation are conspicuously absent. In their place is only a leaden stillness. As the rest of the central city surges towards the declaration of a desired new identity in brick and stone and glass, the Spreeinsel languishes like an abandoned fairground. Significantly, however, the unseen force that has tied the hands of construction workers and the tongues of developers here is not due to apathy or lack of interest but rather to a heavy and almost palpable paralysis. The very pressure of the perceived geographical and historic significance of the Spreeinsel, this supposed 96 "Mittelpunkt" of Berlin, has since 1990 ground all productive discussion about its possible redevelopment - as well as two very expensive international design competitions - into deadlock. The opening chapter of this dissertation took the reader to a small quarter on the edge of central Berlin, the first in the former East to learn the destabilizing experience of gentrification and rapid transformation after 1990. In this otherwise unremarkable neighborhood, the walls themselves would for brief moments bring to the surface long buried anxieties to threaten a tenuous definition of post-unification "Germanness." Chapter Two propels us away from these twisted, frenzied streets and into a space of uneasy stillness. Here, in this vacuous, forgotten centre, questions of "Germanness" become ones of "Berlinness" as we confront the complexities and contradictions specific to the imaginings, representation, and experience of the transforming city itself. As M . Christine Boyer has stated in her critique on postmodern urban planning, The City of Collective Memory, urban space is often arranged as if for a theatrical performance.234 In late summer 1993, two years after the Ostjuden's silent return to the dark streets of the Spandauer Vorstadt, a colossal curtain was drawn across the Spreeinsel's paralyzed space, a curtain that marked the staging of a complex performance. The curtain bore the form of an unlikely return: an apparition from the site's historic past, that of Berlin's demolished baroque Stadtschloss or City Palace (figure 42), absent from this place for nearly forty years. For three months, the vacuous space of the Spreeinsel was transformed into a theatre, in the original Greek sense of the 2 3 4 See M. Christine Boyer, The City of Collective Memory, 2 4 . 97 word theatron, or "place for seeing"235: it became a site for viewing a specific and seamless vision, temporarily smoothing over the increasingly fractured space of the central city into a seemingly homogenous view. The Stadtschloss, official residence to a succession of ruling Hohenzollern Electors, Kings and Emperors and symbol of Prussian power, had for centuries been the dominating silhouette on the city's skyline and the architectural anchor of the Spreeinsel (figure 43). In the last years of World War II it sustained damage during Allied air bombardment and was demolished entirely by the communist state in 1950. The immense absence that replaced the eliminated structure was later only partly filled by a modernist building slightly more modest in size, the East German Parliament, known as the Palast der Republik (Palace of the Republic) (figure 44), itself empty and languishing after unification. The remaining expanse, paved over with asphalt and originally envisioned by SED party leader Walter Ulbricht as a colossal rallying ground for the proletariat, had in reality become only an enormous parking lot for the GDR's ubiquitous Trabants. The Schloss' sudden reappearance on the Spreeinsel in 1993 was in an altered form, this time cut not from stone but rather hung from scaffolding on great sheets of painted canvas (figures 45 and 46). Rendered in careful detail and stretching upwards to the palace's original height, the bright yellow facades undulated playfully in the breeze, filling this previously empty space with an atmosphere that could be described as either a festive celebration or an eerie nostalgic revelry. For the three months of its existence, the privately-funded project - an unusual initiative in Germany 2 3 6 - drew crowds of 2 3 5 See Boyer, The City of Collective Memory, 24. 236 N0te that in Germany and Berlin specifically, and in both the former Federal Republic and Democratic Republic, there has been a strong culture of state funding for the arts, as mentioned 98 thousands, who came to marvel at the spectacle, visit the attendant exhibition of the Schloss' history housed behind the curtain facade, and enjoy food and drink from street venders. But the simulation was far from simply a colourful trompe I'oeil, a playful temporary addition to the Spreeinsel; it was simultaneously an aggressive claim to space. In an attempt (at least superficially) to reclaim the entirety of the palace's former footprint, the canvas screen ran directly into the western face of the Palast der Republik. An enormous mirror was erected against the facade of the defunct GDR Parliament to nullify its presence altogether, creating the illusion that the palace spectacle continued ad infinitum deep into eastern half of the city (figure 47). The canvas Stadtschloss project was organized and funded entirely by a private initiative called the Forderverein Berliner Stadtschloss (Sponsoring Association of the Berlin City Palace), an organization spearheaded by the prominent Hamburg businessman Wilhelm van Boddien, whose aim was to press the city to reconstruct the destroyed palace. The project was guided by the noted Berlin architectural historian Goerd Peschken and the canvas Schloss was erected by the atelier of French mural artist Catherine Feff.237 The Forderverein's purpose in staging the temporary spectacle was made very clear. To validate their claim, the group cited a number of other examples in western, central and eastern Europe where previously destroyed historical structures had been completely reconstructed, including Warsaw's Royal Palace, St. Michaels Cloister in Kiev, the Cloth Merchants' Hall in Ypres, the Romanesque Great briefly in relation to Die Endlichkeit der Freiheit in Chapter One. As will be discussed here, however, the canvas Schloss project was both too politically controversial and too fiscally frivolous for government funding. 2 3 7 Catherine Feff had been commissioned to create other canvas trompes I'oeil on a spectacular scale, including an image of a massive radio in Paris to commemorate the anniversary of the French Resistance during World War I I . 99 St. Martin's Church in Cologne, and the recently completed Frauenkirche in Dresden. The Forderverein aimed to demonstrate to Berliners that the Stadtschloss was a crucial component in the city's architectural heritage, and that its reconstruction, which would be understood as a "wirklich authentische Kopie or "truly authentic copy"238 of the destroyed original, was imperative for the redefinition of the reunified city. Of course, in Berlin the laying claim to a particular heritage is never simple; it is an act of political provocation, and often a means of (often unintentionally) summoning spectres from the past. Because the former space of the demolished Schloss was now partially occupied by the Palast der Republik, such a reconstruction necessarily demanded the destruction of the former socialist parliament. Backed by influential supporters, including Chancellor Kohl, Berlin's then mayor Eberhardt Diepgen and the municipal Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU), the well-known journalist Joachim Fest, and the influential publicist Wolf Jobst Siedler, the Forderverein argued that a rebuilt Schloss would represent a declaration of victory in the Cold War by erasing all traces of East Germany on the site. As was beginning to become routine in the recently reunified city, the question of how to position the past in the present played out in the space of the Spreeinsel as an explosive performance of the tensions between east and west. Bursting into print and television media as loudly as it had interrupted the space 2 3 8 Quoted in Rolf Goebel, "Berlin's Architectural Citations: Reconstruction, Simulation, and the Problem of Historical Authenticity," Publications of the Modern Language Association. Vol. 118, n.5 (October 2003), 1274. 100 of the Spreeinsel,239 the spectacular canvas Schloss event re-ignited the stalled debate over the city's centre and thrust it squarely into Berliners' consciousness. Although German historians and theorists of art, architecture, and urbanism have discussed the phenomenon at length, the Forderverein's canvas Schloss project has been largely overlooked by scholars in the English-speaking world. Thus its role as a window into the complexities which confound Berlin's attempts at redefinition in the first years after 1990 remains in this broader discourse unexamined and untheorized. Whether its advocates intended it or not, the canvas Schloss performed a crucial task. For the short months of its existence, this simulation brought into full view the often-acrimonious debates t^hat everywhere underlie Berlin's transformation but are invisible in the gleaming surfaces of the city's new architecture, and increasingly obscured behind the rapidly homogenizing mask of the city's official visage. The rippling surface of the canvas Schloss briefly showcased a number of highly charged, highly politicized desires specific to Berlin and emerging in this moment after unification: the nostalgic longing to excavate and resurrect a particular past, and the desire to violently expunge or bury another. Perhaps most beguiling however, was the more anxious compulsion unintentionally exposed by the temporary screen while it pronounced Berlin's aspirations towards a monumental, coherent and pleasing capital: the drive to continually defer completion and to always begin anew. 2 3 9 Literally hundreds of editorials, feuilleton pages, and opinion polls on the subject of the proposed reconstruction appeared in Berlin daily newspapers and weeklies over the course of 1993 and 1994, in publications spanning the full breadth of the political spectrum. 101 In the writing of its histories, Michel de Certeau tells us, every new era finds its legitimation in what it excludes.-40 Yet each new time nevertheless welcomes the existence of (certain) earlier pasts, and as Boyer adds, "it even builds its representational forms out of materials from these accepted pasts, reorganized by conflicts and interests formed in the present."241 She argues that the present practice of architecture, city planning, and historic preservation still carry within their "visual imaginations" the influences of practices and representational views of city building from past centuries. Whether unconsciously or explicitly, they reach back to manipulate architectural fragments formulated as expressions of earlier problems and needs, "but then they insert these fragments into contemporary contexts that are controlled by vastly changed circumstances and desires."242 When juxtaposed against the contemporary city of "disruption and disarray," she adds, "The detached appearance of these historically detailed compositions becomes even more exaggerated and attenuated."243 It is clear that, soon after reunification, the spectre of the demolished Stadtschloss once again lodged itself firmly within Berlin's visual and cultural imagination. For Boyer, the question is at once how these traces from the past "appear denigrated by nostalgic sentiments that fuel their preservation or reconstruction," and how "our collective memory of places is undermined by the presence of these reconstructions."244 In the case of post-1990 Berlin however, a city not only in the grips of volatile socio-political and spatial change, but one whose historical fabric is saturated with the ghosts and traces (architectural, archeological, and psychological) of repeated injustice and violence, 2 + 0 Michel de Certeau, The Writing of History, 3-5. 2 4 1 M. Christine Boyer, The City of Collective Memory, 6. 2 + 2 Boyer, 1. 2 4 3 Boyer, 1. 2«- Boyer, 1. 102 the questions that must be asked of this historicizing canvas facade are different. To presume the presence (even a threatened one) of a "collective memory" in reunified Berlin is to efface the very struggles that mark this city's space as contentious. Rather, one must ask exactly what work this apparition might accomplish upon its return. Which historical narratives does this representation attempt to articulate as "collective" memory and why? Whose memories does it wish to exorcize (either overtly or otherwise), and perhaps most compellingly, whose leak out unintentionally? In other words, at this moment in the first years after reunification, it is crucial to interrogate how the past, the present and the future in Berlin imagine themselves to be related, how they are represented as related, and why. The temporary canvas Stadtschloss and its surrounding debate allows us one point of entry into that kind of inquiry. Soon after the fall of the Wall in November 1989, as the possibility of reunifying Berlin and Germany became a reality, both scholarly and popular discourses (in the Federal Republic and abroad) began referring to the city as an organic body — an injured, scarred, and damaged body — but a coherent one nonetheless. Architecture and urban planning quickly assumed the role of the surgeon, and in the multitude of competition briefs for the city's reconstruction the language took on a medical tenor. Proposals called for the urgent need to "suture together Berlin's disconnected tissue," to "heal the gaping wounds of the Cold War," and to "transplant the heart so violently torn from the city's cavity."245 The task of physically erasing the scar left by the course of the Wall 2 « Yov examples for the medical tone of the language permeating Berlin's reconstruction discourse, see the collection of planning proposals and design statements in Andreas Papadakis, ed, Berlin Tomorrow: International Design Visions; and Eleanor Heartney, in "Berlin: Future Perfect?," Art in America (February 2000) 108-115. See also Svetlana Boym, who states, "The 103 rapidly acquired the metaphoric significance of the psychic healing process of city and nation itself (with city and nation unproblematicaiiy conflated as one). Even for those commentators whose prognosis was less optimistic - as in the words of one author, who argued that "to glue East and West back together again is like trying to rejuvenate someone who has been chronically ill for several decades, in this case ever since the end of WWII" 2 4 0 - the a priori understanding of Berlin as a singular and organic body was left unquestioned. It was as though, having lain dormant for forty years, the city as a singular living organism had persisted, prevailed, and returned to some seemingly "natural" state as Berlin. Situated in the appropriately named district of Mitte ("Middle") at the geographical nucleus of historic and now reunified Berlin, the Spreeinsel was quickly constructed in post-1990 discourse as the "heart" of this damaged body (that which had been so brutally "torn" from the city by the communist occupying forces after the war), and as Berlin's axial point between east and west.247 As such, the Spreeinsel, a designation which was itself coined only after 1990, conceptually "came into being" as a crucial focus in the reconstruction of the central city, and to the redefinition of Berlin's identity on both the civic and national stage. As with a number of other prominent sites after 1990 (including FriedrichstraBe; Potsdamer and Leipziger Platz; the Spreebogen; and the area surrounding former Checkpoint Charlie), the Spreeinsel was soon announced as the site Schloss became a lost limb of the common body of the city, or even the lost heart." Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia (New York: Basic Books, 2001), 181. 2 4 6 Stanley Collyer, "An Exercise in Futility? The Berlin Spreeinsel Competition," Competitions (Spring 1995), 56. 2 4 7 The Spreeinsel lies at the junction of the monumental tree-lined boulevard Unter den Linden which marches west toward the Brandenburg Gates and the Tiergarten, and Karl Liebknecht Strasse which snakes east to Alexanderplatz and beyond. These are motorways that have been described as pointing off to Paris in the West and Moscow in the East. 104 of an international urban-planning competition. The competition was the largest in Berlin's history, drawing over eleven hundred submissions from forty-nine countries in its first phase.248 It also became the design project most difficult to articulate conceptually, decide upon, and implement, rife with seemingly irresolvable theoretical, logistic, and ideological contradictions. In December 1993 the little-known Berlin architect Bernd Niebuhr was selected as one of 52 finalists. He then single-handedly won first prize for the second phase, which ended the following spring, with a design proposal that unequivocally called for the demolition of the Palast der Republik and in its place the construction of a new City Hall and conference centre simulating the massing of the historic Stadtschloss (figure 48). "The Schloss represented the source of all action," Niebuhr stated in his proposal, leaving no doubt, in his view, as to the centrality of the palace form in both the social space of the historic city, and in the development of his design scheme: It became the centre of society. The city referred to the Schloss: it formed a network around it, but at the same time kept its distance. The city created spaces to set it apart from the Schloss. Without the Schloss, these spaces have no sense or meaning.249 Niebuhr's conservative design restored the spatial dominance of the palace to the Spreeinsel, organized all other structures (planned mostly as federal offices) in relation to it, and called for the rebuilding of several landmarks destroyed during the course of the GDR, including Schinkel's Bauakademie (demolished in 1961) and the 2 4 8 As the architectural historian Dieter Hoffmann-Axthelm wryly noted, "instead of being interpreted as an indicator of international unemployment among architects, the great number of submissions was seen to corroborate the concreteness of the competition idea, the importance of the projects, and the legitimacy of occupying the site." See Dieter Hoffmann-Axthelm, Hauptstadt Berlin (Essen: Klartext Verlag, 1991), 9. 2 4 9 Niebuhr, quoted in Balfour, Berlin, 331. 105 Friedrichswerder Marktplatz (razed in the 1980s in order to make room for high-rise apartment complexes). Niebuhr may have been awarded first prize for his design scheme, but nevertheless, as architect and theorist Francesca Rogier has wryly remarked, "in Berlin it is never certain that prizewinners will be well rewarded, especially where complex historical issues are concerned."250 The unveiling of Niebuhr's plan met with negative public response from different groups: architectural critics and urban planners argued that the design was reactionary and backward-looking, one that proposed an inward-turning, closed off quarter with little relationship to the surrounding city. Supporters of the Palast der Republik challenged that it was unacceptable to effectively and deliberately erase all traces of the former German Democratic Republic from the Spreeinsel. Rather than providing a solution to the Spreeinsel design challenge, the architect's winning program served only as a catalyst for increased conflict. Niebuhr's scheme was shelved, and the results of the competition that had cost the city four million deutsche marks were effectively nullified.251 Central to the paralysis afflicting the Spreeinsel's redefinition, and underlying the debate surrounding Niebuhr's plan, was Berlin's newly re-acquired status as Hauptstadt or capital city. Because of the area's perceived "centrality," its geographical, historical, 2 s o Francesca Rogier, "Growing Pains," 61. 2 5 i By February 1995, the minister of finance Theo Waigel had cut funding for all but three building projects: the new Chancellery, an office building near the presidential palace, and the overhaul of the Reichstag. As two little-known studies had already confirmed in 1991, more than enough space was already available in existing buildings scattered throughout the central districts, inherited by Bonn from the Allies and the East German regime, which could be renovated far more cheaply than undertaking new construction. A second international competition, which by this point was already underway, was scrapped entirely, leaving the Spreeinsel with no solution. See Rogier, 58. 106 and symbolic significance was of interest not simply to Berlin the city, but to Berlin as representing the nation as well. After parliament's controversial decision in June 1991 to shift unified Germany's seat of government from Bonn to Berlin, the state laid claim to the site, declaring that alongside "enlivening"] the city center with a conference centre and library, mixed-use development, new transit stations, and recreating"] the historic city plan," the re-planned Spreeinsel must also accommodate about two hundred thousand square metres of office space for the federal ministries of Security and Foreign Affairs, each requiring underground parking and high level state security.252 For many architectural historians and critics, the decision on the part of the federal government to occupy the site exposed conflicting visions over the very nature of the Haupstadt itself. On the one hand, the nation clearly wished to continue the enclave-like existence of that enjoyed in Bonn, often referred to as the "capital of self-effacement," where government offices were sequestered away from the city in a suburban setting, surrounded by green space. On the other hand, however, the government's plans to claim the Spreeinsel reflected the contradictory desire to create a high-profile capital with highly visible federal offices integrated into a bustling, multi-use metropolitan centre, such as in Paris or London. Critics charged that with the obvious limitations national security would place on public space, such a plan would render the Spreeinsel — and the "centre" of Berlin - completely devoid of street life. Such a move, many argued, "the price which the city is paying for becoming capital,"253 would simply replace one urban "vacuum" (that which was created by the East German regime) with another. This, according the Berlin architect Dieter Hoffmann-Axthelm in the 1994 publication Hauptstadt Berlin, 2 5 2 Rogier, 62. 2 5 3 Stanley Collyer, "An Exercise in Futility? The Berlin Spreeinsel Competition," Competitions volume 5, number 1 (Spring 1995), 58. 107 "reflected the dismal reality that is everywhere the rule, no matter who the protagonists happens to be: the nation served itself, and developed the middle of Berlin as an official symbol of urban destruction."254 The competing visions for the new Hauptstadt centre and the impossibility of fulfilling such divergent objectives on the Spreeinsel spoke of the "exceptional significance for the structure, function, and identity of the centre of Berlin,"255 as perceived by both civic and national officials across the breadth of the political spectrum. And yet in spite of this, the Spreeinsel had in fact rarely functioned, neither practically nor symbolically, as a singular place, and Berlin had never successfully claimed one centre. Even at its very origins, placed late in the twelfth century, Berlin was not a singular place, but a doubled one.2 5 6 The city began not as one town, but as two: a larger settlement on the right bank of the river Spree, known as Berlin, and its smaller twin, situated on the Spreeinsel island enclosed by two arms of the river, called Colin (figure 49). 2 5 7 Sometime in the early thirteenth century, two separate town charters were granted to the different settlements. The first decades of the fifteenth century saw the Holy Roman Emperor accord the encompassing territory of Brandenburg to the south German family Hohenzollern, granting Friedrich and his heirs the title of Elector of 2 5 4 Dieter Hoffmann-Axthelm, quoted in Collyer, 59. 2 5 5 Harold Bodenschatz, "The Spreeinsel Competition Area," in Hoffmann-Axthelm, Hauptstadt Berlin, 16. 2se "The double signifies symmetry, and for our culture, it has become an object of esthetic perception. Yet, as Primo Levi says in an essay, butterflies existed millions of years before man, and the symmetrical designs of their wings have nothing to do with our sense of order. In mythology, the double is often the origin of conflict and implies disaster; in nature, the complex psychology of twins finds a disquieting counterpart in the Siamese twin, which brings to mind monstrosity." See Giorgio Verzotti, "Doppel Jeopardy," Artforumv.2.9 (November 1990), 128. 2 5 7 Berlin is first mentioned in documents in 1244, and Colin on the Spree Island in 1237. 108 Brandenburg. Soon after, in 1442, the Elector attempted to forcedly extend his control over the twin cities by erecting a palace in their midst. Although the massive structure dominated the two towns, it failed to create a cohesive or singular centre. Berlin and Colin continued to function cooperatively yet autonomously, and for centuries there existed two civic halls, two markets, two churches (each with their own monastic community), two separate civic administrations, and even two street systems that did not line up. 2 5 8 The creation of the two different German states (and consequently the two different Berlins) in 1949, four years after Nazi Germany's capitulation to the Allied forces, seemed to once again call up the city's historic doubledness; the construction of the Berlin Wall in August of 1961 would repeat it with cruel and hyperbolic accuracy. The building of the Wall made two of everything necessary. To someone unfamiliar with the ideological posturing and games of display at this centre stage of the cold war, the duplication in East and West Berlin of public landmarks - television tower, convention hall, zoo, stadium - as Peter Schneider muses in his 1988 novel The Wall Jumper, might have simply appeared to "prefigure a city in which the same taste has brought forth the same things twice."259 As life in the two Cold War Berlins gradually curled back from their respective perimeters along the Wall, two independent infrastructures and civic centres developed once again. In the East there was Alexanderplatz, north-east of the Spreeinsel, dominated by its colossal and self-conscious declaration of the socialist state's technological prowess, the Fernsehturm (Television Tower). In the West there 2 5 8 Philipp Oswalt, "Doppelung," Berlin, Stadt ohne Form: Strategien einer anderen Architektur (Munchen: Prestel, 2000), 81. 2 5 9 Peter Schneider, The Wall Jumper: A Berlin Story (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983), 4. 109 was the conspicuously elegant boulevard of the Kurfurstendamm, a glittering showcase of western consumerism. The Spreeinsel itself, although envisioned as a monumentalized centre for the GDR, lay buried (and burdened) under mountains of rubble and the ruins of the past. After unification in 1990, despite euphoric prophesies to the contrary, the doubledness of Berlin did not rapidly dissolve into a single coherent whole. And just as it quickly became clear to Berliners in both the former east and west that "it was the Wall alone that preserved the illusion that the Wall was the only thing separating the Germans,"260 so too the bewilderment and disorientation of navigating a Berlin wholly unfamiliar meant that citizens continued to circulate in their long-established paths, and consequently the doubled centres in the former East and West persisted in their importance to everyday life.261 Precisely because it had never successfully operated as such, after reunification it suddenly became all the more imperative for the Spreeinsel, now perceived geographically as a collision point between east and west, to function as the single most powerful cohering agent in Berlin. This desired place of coherence, of clearly resolved and defined identity, was "an urban context that has never existed historically,"262 and 260 peter Schneider, The German Comedy, 13. 2 6 1 One might also argue that as well as the two competing centres after unification, there might also be the construction of a third, that at Potsdamer Platz, which rises as an enclave of corporate capitalism complete with multiplex cinemas, a shopping mall, a film archive and restaurants from the desolate expanse of the expansive former no-man's land south of the Brandenburg Gates. Time will tell whether or not Potsdamer Platz will regain the importance it played in the first decades of the twentieth century as a commercial and entertainment nexus. Many critics denounce the area, which in 1990 was sold to and developed by the multinational corporations Sony, Daimler Benz and ABB, as an unacceptably privatized and "American" space with its cluster of towers and reflective surfaces, arguing that it will be rejected unequivocally by Berliners, to be visited only by tourists. However many young Berliners (from both east and west) welcome this entirely new space that they say belonged to no-one during the Cold War, and is thus one of the truly "open" places in the post-1989 city. 2 6 2 Bodenschatz, 20. 110 so had to be invented. It is perhaps ironic, then, that it would be the form of the Stadtschloss, a structure whose relationship to Berliners throughout its centuries of existence can at best be described as ambivalent - understood as variously as a proud signifier of German nationalism,263 as a hated symbol of Prussian autarchy and militarism, as confirmation of the uninspired and reactionary spirit of the Hohenzollerns,264 or as an inconsequential lump of stone turned inward away from the city - which for many after reunification is invested with the power to refocus the city's gaze, and to give form to the much desired "centre." For post-unification Berlin, the vanished Stadtschloss would have a strange centripetal pull; even its most strident critics admit that while it was never explicitly stated, the Spreeinsel debate "was always only about the palace."265 Two elements of longing are bound up within this magnetic pull of the absent palace, two intertwined desires that would be revealed in the shimmering, undulating surface of the canvas schloss: the desire to bury one historical narrative, and the desire to exhume another. 2 6 3 At first the palace was seen as quintessentially Prussian. In 1861, when Austro-Prussian rivalry over the leadership of Germany was intense, a Prussian architect wrote: "as one looks at the Ffofsburg Palace in Vienna, that conglomeration of wings, pavilions, and courtyards, and compares it with the self-contained and thoroughly planned palace in Berlin, one realizes that the contrast between both states could not be more strikingly characterized." Quoted in Robert R. Taylor, Hohenzollern Berlin: Construction and Reconstruction (Ontario: P.D. Meany Publishers, 1985), 28. Even a century later, after the demise of both Prussia and the palace, an art historian believed that the Schloss expressed "much of that dignity and strength, which, developed out of poverty and severity, is native to Prussianism" (Quoted in Taylor, 28). In the late nineteenth century, the Berliner Stadtschloss became the embodiment of the highest spiritual values of Germans. One twentieth-century scholar wrote that Schluter's Schloss was the nucleus of German Idealism and an inspiration to great deeds. "Through its upward-striving columns and perpendicular articulation," he comments, "it achieved a quite German character" (Taylor, 28). 2 6 4 In 1841, Tsar Nicholas I, son-in-law of Friedrich Wilhelm II, presented his royal relatives in Berlin with two matching sculptural groups, bronze "horse tamers." Installed on the Lustgarten side of the Schloss, one showed a powerful steed being controlled by a muscular male nude, and the other, a balking horse being pulled forward by a similar figure. Berliners, famous even during the nineteenth century for affixing sarcastic designations to the city's monuments, nicknamed them "Progress Restrained" and "Reaction Encouraged." See Taylor, 28-9. 2 B S Nearly all of the design submissions revolved around the former Stadtschloss, either in fully or partially reconstructed form. See Balfour, Berlin, for submission images. I l l The fate of the badly damaged Berliner Stadtschloss was not immediately decided after the end of World War II. Several leading experts in each of the sectors came out in favour of the palace's reconstruction,266 while many others argued that it was a useless relic, adding that restoration would be too expensive, especially given Berlin's disastrous postwar housing and sustenance problems. As the Cold War developed and the civic administration and government split, however, it became increasingly clear that the destruction of the Hohenzollern palace would be a deliberate political act.2 6 7 In the young German Democratic Republic's climate of zealous "sovietization," hard-line Marxist ideologues, no doubt wishing to prove their "ideological purity" to Moscow, called for the destruction of all signs of German militarism and imperialism.268 "May it no longer remind us of an inglorious past!" the official party newspaper Neues Deutschland jubilantly declared in 1949 of the historic palace.269 The hated vestiges of a monarchist and capitalist past must be cleared for the rise of the German proletariat, 2 6 6 In fact when the war ended, several leading experts in all sectors came out in favour of the palace's reconstruction. These included Hans Scharoun, architect and city council in the still unified Magistrat; Richard Hamann, art historian; members of the architecture faculty of the Technisches Universitat in the British zone; and representatives of the German Academy of Sciences in the Russian zone, all suggested restoration of all or part of the Schloss. Authorities actually found funds to restore the White Ballroom, which received some of the collections of the former Arts and Crafts Museum. In the summer of 1946, curators mounted an exhibition of French painting there and later, in December, a show entitled "Meet your Museum Again." Other exhibitions were held there soon after and summer concerts in the Schluter courtyard were revived. See Taylor, 33. 2 6 7 It is worth noting that the western occupation powers did not oppose the destruction of the palace. In fact, in 1946 the Allied control commission itself issued a directive on the "Liquidation of German militarist and Nazi Monuments and Museums" which would have included the palace, as it was seen at that time as a symbol of Hohenzollern militarism. See Taylor, 34. 268 Whether or not the GDR had orders from Moscow to destroy the palace cannot easily be determined. Before the Stalinist purge of East German party and government members began, the Russians had in 1947 ordered the Berlin government to restore the baroque Royal Arsenal, an undertaking which cost 750 000 marks. This suggests that the victors were not concerned with razing architectural symbols of the former enemy, at least not when they could be used for ideological purposes. Taylor, 34. 2 8 9 Quoted in Michael Wise, Capital Dilemma, 43. 112 and for the building of a new German nation. As SED leader Walter Ulbricht proclaimed at a Party Congress in 1950, "the centre of our capital, the Lustgarten [in front of Schinkel's Altes Museum] and the palace ruins must become a great demonstration ground where the will of our people to fight and reconstruct can find expression."270 After sitting in ruin for five years without any substantial attempt at restoration, the palace walls had fallen into almost irreparable decay, so salvaging the Schloss would entail a near total reconstruction.271 Completely rebuilding a centuries old royal palace would be economically irresponsible in a country still struggling from post-war housing shortages and ideologically incongruous in a young communist state. Total demolition of the schloss began on the seventh of September, 19 50. 2 7 2 Nearly a half-century later in a reunified Berlin, the same logic that had informed the GDR's decision to eliminate the Stadtschloss would once again be taken up on the opposite end of the political spectrum in a new attempt to alter the face of the Spreeinsel. Outraged at the palace's destruction by the East German government in 270 Walter Ulbricht, quoted in Nicholas Bernan, "Der Ort des Souverans," in Forderverein Berliner Stadtschlosses, Das Schloss? Eine Ausstellung ilber die Mitte Berlins. (Berlin: Ernst und Sohn, 1993), 75. 2 7 1 In 1949 the by now communist dominated Magistrat gave permission to a Russian film company to make a motion picture, "The Fall of Berlin," in and around the Palace, which in no way improved its condition. The filmmakers shattered over 200 windows and managed to destroy both sculptural groups over the grand staircase of the Schliiter courtyard. See Taylor, Hohenzollern Berlin, 35. 2 7 2 After the unsteady days of 1950, the increasingly confident GDR was able to overlook Hohenzollern bourgeois symbolism, stressing that German craftsmen and labourers created these monuments, which should be revered as socialist and patriotic achievements. However, as late as the 1970s it was still not acceptable to spend much in print referring to the destroyed Stadtschloss. In tourist guides only passing reference was made to the fact that an enormous, politically and artistically important structure once stood at the centre of the city. An East German book of photographs of Berlin's architectural monuments, produced in 1973, although it describes Unter den Linden, Breite Strasse and the Arsenal, omits any written reference to the Schloss. See Waltraud Volk, Berlin: Hauptstadt der DDR. Historische Strassen und Pldtze Heute, Deutsche Bauakademie, Institute fur Stadtebau und Architektur (Berlin: Verlag fur Bauwesen, 1975). 113 1950, advocates of the Schloss, including the many' previously noted art and architectural historians and politicians, saw its reconstruction as an act of justice. Claiming that since the destruction of the Hohenzollern palace was meant to symbolize the victory of the socialist state, the edifice's reconstruction (and hence the destruction of the Palast der Republik) would be an appropriate reminder of the failure of communist ideology. They argued that "the political postures of the communist regime, even those carved in stone, had no place in the unified German democracy,"273 and contended that a rebuilt Schloss would represent a declaration of victory in the Cold War by wiping out all traces of East Germany on the site.274 These arguments, calling for a complete erasure of the communist past from the post-unification landscape, underscore the uncomfortable reality that reunification of the two Germanys happened on very asymmetrical ground. The utter collapse of the communist state and the haste of the entire reunification process resulted in a virtual western takeover of the East. 2 7 5 In East Berlin, the Abwicklung or "unraveling" of the GDR and its attendant way of life was accompanied by the systematic erasure of explicitly socialist street names and commemorative sites, which, according to the Berlin Senate, had no place in a unified German democracy. These erasures were for the most part executed upon official command and not by spontaneous, popular action. Drawing on language eerily echoing that of the SED (Socialist Unity Party) in their condemnation of the Schloss after the war, the Berlin Chamber of Deputies made clear the city's official position with respect to the communist monuments of former East 2 7 3 Brian Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin, 193. 2 7 + Ladd, 61-2. 275 Giles Radice, The New Germans, 18. 114 Berlin, stating that "whenever a system of rule dissolves or is overthrown, the justification for its monuments - at least those which served to legitimate and foster its rule - no longer exists."276 Numerous streets and plazas commemorating socialist thinkers or revolutionaries, such as Wilhelm-Pieck-StraBe in the Spandauer Vorstadt, were without warning reverted back to their pre-war names (figure 50), while the Marx-Engels Forum, a green space directly east of the Palast der Republik which only came into existence during the GDR, was left nameless altogether.277 The legal tool for this name-changing was the 1985 West Berlin Strassengesetz, which was amended and extended to the entire city after 1990. It called for "the removal of those street names from the period of 1945 to 1989 [honouring"] active opponents of democracy and also intellectual-political precursors and defenders of Stalinist tyranny, the G D R regime and other unjust Communist regimes."278 Following these guidelines, authorities in reunited Berlin ordered seventy-five name changes in the eastern part of the city in the first two years following reunification. Many of the changes were made by district councils and were not controversial. However as time went on, with ever more Communist heroes losing their places of honour on the municipal map, East Berliners began to complain that Westerners were attempting to rob them of their collective identity. In 1991, C D U delegates on the city council proposed to rename all streets and squares honouring Karl Marx, August Bebel, Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, and Clara Zetkin. The PDS and SPD balked at this, and the battle became so heated that the city authorities were forced to create an independent commission, which included noted historians, to advice on the situation. The commission recommended that 2 7 6 Berlin Chamber of Deputies, June 1992. Quoted in Sophie Calle, Die Entfernung/The Detachment (Berlin: Arndt & Partner Gallery, 1996), frontispiece. 2 7 7 Rogier, "Growing Pains," 80. 2 7 8 Quoted in David Clay Large, Berlin (New York: Basic Books), 560. 115 Communists who had died too soon to help bring the collapse of the Weimar Republic -or the rise of the GDR - should not be erased, thus sparing Marx, Bebel, Liebknecht and Luxemburg. Zetkin, however, remained fair game, as she had lived until 1933. Conservatives and moderate socialists on the commission argued that she had been an enemy of parliamentary democracy. The street named in her honour, running from eastern Berlin to the Reichstag, occupied a very sensitive location. Thus in 1994 Clara-Zetkin-StraBe returned to its old name of DorotheenstraBe, much to the dismay of leftists, who held a protest rally decrying the "slander" of a great anti-Hitler activist and feminist crusader. In another case in 1994, DimitroffstraBe (named after Georgi Dimitroff, head of the Comintern) to its previous designation, Danziger StraBe. This not only angered leftists, who celebrated Dimitroff as the hero of the Reichstag fire trial, but alarmed the Poles, who worried that some Germans might imagine that restoring a street name was the first step towards regaining "lost territory" in the east. Throughout these struggles, the political left accused the conservatives of hypocrisy, noting that several streets in western Berlin still bore the names of prominent generals and militants.279 In a Berliner Zeitung article of 1995, the mayor of Mitte vocalized citizen's objections to the ideological transparency of these actions: "Here in the east side of Berlin every segment of history is crammed through a sieve, while in the west side, history just happened."280 In her 1991 Berlin-based project Die Entfernung/The Detachment, the title of which poignantly calls up a kind of abrupt and mechanical separation, the French 2 7 f l See Large, 560-561. 2 8 0 Quoted in Hermine G. De Soto, "(Re)Inventing Berlin: Dialectics of Power, Symbols and Pasts, 1990-1995," City and Society Issue 1 (1996), 41. 116 artist Sophie Calle documented many of these unsettling erasures, photographing the absence of previous socialist monuments in the capital, the clues to their aggressive and hasty removal visible only as a trace in the footprint of a statue or the shadow of a former plaque (figures 51 and 52). 2 8 1 Thus for many East Berliners after 1989 it was not simply the space of West Berlin which, bewildering in its unfamiliarity, required new tools of navigation, but their own eastern neighborhoods as well. The long, block-like form of the Palast der Republik, designed by an architectural collective headed by Heinz Graffunder and opened with great public ceremony in 1976, was built in the international modernist style and clad in white marble and bronze reflective glass,282 an opulence that for many (Easterners and Westerners alike) thinly veiled the recently appointed SED leader Erich Honecker's attempt to restore faith and pride in the floundering communist system.283 Yet the building was understood by large numbers of East Berliners as one of the few truly public spaces in an otherwise constricted public sphere of the GDR. Aside from infrequently housing the Volkskammer (the parliament that, after free elections, voted itself out of existence to allow the merger with the Federal Republic in 1990), the Palast der Republik also functioned as a state-sponsored community centre, complete with exhibition space, a dozen restaurants and bars, a large performance area capable of staging everything from 2 8 1 In her project, Sophie Calle filled the absence of the socialist monuments, metaphorically at least, with the intimate and often contradictory statements of former East Berliners as they recall the sites from memory. See Sophie Calle, Die Entfernung/The Detachment (Berlin: Arndt Gallery, 1996). 282 While the Palast der Republik was markedly smaller in size than the former Schloss, it made explicit reference to the symbolic structure of the destroyed building. The People's Chamber was erected on the site of the Royal Chamber, the Tribune for Communist Demonstrators was designed in the area of the Emperor's Throne Room. See Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia, 187. 2 8 3 In fact the building earned the nickname "Palazzo Protzo" by many West Berliners, an Italianized term meaning "ostentatious palace." 117 opera to boxing, and even a bowling alley (figure 53). 2 8 4 As such, the Palast was an important repository of memories for a generation of East Berliners, becoming, according to one observer, "the popular place for East Germans to spend their leisure hours as well as the choice setting for private celebrations such as weddings and graduations" as "food and drink were available at moderate prices and in a plentitude unknown elsewhere in the country."285 Of course, just as the Easterners do not represent a homogenous group, neither is the Palast der Republik remembered in a singular (and singularly sentimental) way. As one former East German writer reminded his fellow Berliners, The Palast was 300% GDR. You can, of course, put a layer of nostalgia over it but if that is our identity, then it is precisely what some conservative politicians tell about us. The East Berliners had an ironic, practical relationship with the Palast. You went there because there were no alternatives and that shouldn't be idealized.286 That being said, however, a wide gulf separated East Berliners' specific memories of a place of leisure, conviviality, or practicality, as the East German writer Friedrich Dieckmann has noted, from Westerners' abstract condemnation of a communist monument. The latter, Dieckmann suggests, was the perspective of the victor, wishing to ratify a triumph, just as the communist victors of 1945 had triumphantly cleared away the royal palace.287 This was made explicit from the earliest moments in the Spreeinsel debate, when in 1990 the Palast der Republik was found to be polluted with high levels of asbestos. The building was deemed unsafe and immediately closed (now contaminated not only ideologically but chemically), an act that conveniently enabled 2 8 4 Ironically, the Palast der Republik represented the very idea of a "lively mix of functions" stipulated for the redesigned centre in the Spreeinsel's international planning competition brief. 2 8 5 Michael Wise, 52. 2 8 6 Quoted in Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia, 190. 2 8 7 Friedrich Dieckmann, "Staatsraume in Innern Berlins: Ein Streifzug," Architektur in Berlin: Jahrbuch 1992 (Hamburg: Junius, 1992), 32. 118 city officials to call for the removal of the structure in its entirety, claiming that renovation would be more costly than construction of a new building. The ordered closure of the Palast der Republik due to asbestos contamination was considered highly suspect by those who supported the building. The motives behind the suspiciously timed closure became even further transparent in mid-1993 when asbestos experts concluded that the cost of removing the material and restoring the structure would be half that of demolition and reconstruction. Around the same time, the Internationales Kongresszentrum, a West Berlin convention centre and entertainment venue dating from the same decade as the Palast der Republik, was also found to contain very high levels of asbestos. However, the city did not contemplate shutting down the Kongresszentrum even temporarily. This stunned many East Berliners, who began in greater numbers to join initiatives to save the structure from demolition. In reunified Berlin, a city which after November 1989 was a place of diminishing restrictions on movement and exchange, these dissolving boundaries were often for Easterners (and also for many Westerners, wary of their newly visible Eastern neighbors) also understood as uncomfortable and destabilizing erasures of specificity and difference. Thus counter to those who maintain that in postmodern and increasingly globalized communities, "street, district or square are less and less representative of the social space from which people create their identities,"288 in post-1990 Berlin it is urban space itself that becomes the battleground for the preservation of memories and local histories, and for the defiant marking out of difference and particularities. To quote David Harvey, "the elaboration of place-bound identities has 288 Regina Bittner, "Die Stadt als Event," Die Stadt als Event/City as Event: zur Rekonstrucktion urbaner Erlebnisraume, ed. Regina Bittner (Frankfurt a.M.: Campus Verlag, 2001), 358. 119 become more rather than less important in a world of diminishing spatial barriers to exchange, movement, and communication."289 Monuments and spaces threatened with removal in 1990 and 1991 suddenly came alive with protest. Residents of a concrete housing project in the district of Friedrichshain whose colossal statue of Lenin 2 9 0 (figure 54) was slated for removal (the same statue transformed by Wodizcko in 1990 during Die Endlichkeit der Freiheit) awoke to find the immense figure solemnly bearing a banner which read "keine Gewalf ("no violence"), slogan of the peaceful demonstrations across eastern Germany in 1989 that lead to the demise of the socialist regime (figure 55). Hardly more than a year after the peaceful uprising it is the stern representation of Lenin himself that now carried this same slogan like a plea, calling out against the indiscriminate destruction of the historic and cultural markers of an entire generation of East Berliners. Burgerinitiative Leninplatz, the citizen's initiative devoted to defending the enormous statue, was ultimately unsuccessful, and the granite Lenin was ignominiously broken up into pieces, each of the massive blocks dumped unceremoniously in a gravel depot outside Berlin (figure 56). 2 9 1 The emptied site of Leninplatz was then renamed Platz der Vereinten Nationen (United 2 8 9 David Harvey, "From Space to Place and Back Again: Reflections on the Condition of Postmodernity," text for UCLA GSAUP Colloquium, May 13, 1991, cited in Dolores Hayden, The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1995), 43. 2 9 0 The sixty-three foot tall granite statue of Lenin had been designed by Nicholai Tomsky and dedicated by Walter Ulbricht in 1970 to commemorate Lenin's hundredth birthday. 2 9 1 The presence of the Lenin statue lives on in Eastern Berlin, however, through an unusual ceremony. Each year, supporters take stones of the statue from its resting place and carry them in solemn ceremony to the eastern Berlin cemetery in the district of Friedrichshain, where a number of murdered revolutionaries and Communists are buried. The stones are then placed, perhaps in reference to Jewish ritual, on the graves of Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht. See Sergiusz Michalski, Public Monuments: Art in Political Bondage 1870-1997 (London: Reaktion Books 1998), 145. 120 Nations Square), an ironic choice for a place which had come to signify discord and division.292 Even the modest sculptural group of Marx and Engels, cast in 1986 by the artist Ludwig Engelhardt and installed gazing eastward immediately behind the Palast der Republik, was given a voice.293 The words "Wir sind unschuldig," ("we are innocent"), spray-painted on the statue's low base in late 1991, seemed to capture the mood of the thinkers themselves, as the figures gazed, motionless and resolute, at Berlin's transformation (figure 57). Like modern day pasquinos, those antique statues in Rome hung with signs declaring the citizens' grievances, these monuments themselves "spoke" the bitterness of many alienated, disenfranchised former East Berliners. Like the declarative statues of Marx and Engels, Lenin, and many other monuments threatened with removal after reunification, the Palast der Republik itself became an active site of resistance and protest, and its preservation the focus of numerous citizens' initiatives such as the Verein zur Erhaltung des Palastes der Republik (Association for the Preservation of the Palace of the Republic). Protests over the planned destruction of the Palast, as well as numerous others of the monuments from the former GDR, led to the patronizing charge that many in the former East had come to suffer from a so-called "Ostalgie." the sentimental longing for a romanticized socialist East German past.294 292 Large, Berlin, 562. 293 The Marx and Engels memorial, which still stands in its original location, is one of the most popular monuments erected by the GDR. The East Berlin populace, with characteristic irreverence, affectionately dubbed it "The Pensioners." See Michalski, 147. 2 9 4 See Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia, for a discussion of'"Ostalgie" in reference to the well-publicized debate over the planned replacement, soon after reunification, of the much-loved Ampelmanner, the distinctive figure in the large hat appearing on East German pedestrian streetlights. Boym, 196. 121 Denounced by the predominantly western-dominated voice of the city as a hopelessly outdated relic, chemically and ideologically "contaminated" and under quarantine, the plight of the former East German parliament building suddenly seemed to embody the alienation and unfair condemnation experienced by many East Berliners themselves after the Wende. The Palast der Republik was thus invested with urgent signification, and transformed into an active producer of a distinctly Ost Berlin identity, which after 1990 was felt to be as threatened with erasure in an overwhelmingly westernizing landscape as the building itself.295 Whether or not Ostalgie could be said to be at work in the storm of protest around the planned destruction of Berlin's Palast der Republik, it is without question that nostalgia - defined as an affective yearning for a home (or point of origin) that no longer exists or has never existed - was a fundamental operative in the Forderverein's efforts to rebuild the Stadtschloss. First coined in 1688 by the Swiss medical doctor Johannes Hofer, the 2 9 5 The GDR legacy is kept alive in part by the continued electoral strength of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), the successor party to the Socialist Unity Party (SED) that had ruled East Germany throughout its existence, and has played a large role in mobilizing an effective opposition through demonstrations and publicization to the calls to dismantle GDR monuments in Berlin. Although there is indeed some continuity between SED stalwarts and the PDS base of support, a great number of today's PDS voters were not believers in the old regime, but rather have been drawn to the party because it has managed to identify and capitalize upon the most resonant issues for former East Germans, such as unemployment. As Elizabeth Strom hasnoted, many analysts have neglected the real skill with which PDS party leaders have positioned themselves within the landscape of reunified German politics, and it would be a mistake to dismiss support for the party as GDR nostalgia. The PDS continues to gain legitimacy: strength of the PDS in Berlin has implications for both local and national politics. Berlin voters single-handedly put the PDS in the Bundestag in 1994, and played a significant role in keeping them there in 1998. While the consensus among observers seems to be that the PDS, for all its unexpected success, is a phenomenon linked directly to the circumstances of reunification and will not have long term impact upon the political landscape, its strength in Berlin, steadily growing since 1990, will continue to play a role in the city-wide and district governments for the foreseeable future. See Elizabeth Strom, Building the New Berlin, 60-63. 122 term "nostalgia" (from the Greek nostos - return home, and algia — longing2 9 6) was used to define "the sad mood originating from the desire for return to one's native land"2 9 7 that appeared to be afflicting the various displaced peoples of seventeenth century Europe: foreign students, domestic help, and soldiers fighting abroad. Nostalgia was said to produce "erroneous representations" that caused the afflicted to lose touch with the present, with symptoms including the confusing of past and present, and the ability to hear voices or see ghosts.298 While first defined as disease of the imagination (and one which was undoubtedly bound up with emerging conceptions of patriotism and national spirit299), the longing "for a community with a collective memory, for continuity in a fragmented world,"300 as Svetlana Boym argues in her book The Future of Nostalgia, can in fact be understood as symptomatic of the modern condition, extending beyond the individual psychology and "inevitably reappearing] as a defense mechanism in a time of accelerated rhythms of life and historical upheavals."301 In its rhetoric of loss and displacement, the Forderverein Berliner Stadtschlosses' campaign for a rebuilt Schloss in post-1990 Berlin was one such nostalgic yearning, the desire, as Boym cites, "to obliterate history and turn it into a private or collective mythology, to revisit time like space, refusing to surrender to the irreversibility of time."302 The re-imaging of Berlin's lost Schloss in 1993 represented one such longing for "an impossibly 2 9 6 Svetlana Boym points out that while the term nostalgia comes from two Greek roots, it did not originate in ancient Greece. Nostalgia is "only pseudo Greek, or nostalgically Greek," and in fact was first coined by the Swiss doctor Johannes Hofer in his medical dissertation of 1688, arguing that it was possible "from the force of the sound Nostalgia to define the sad mood originating from the desire for return to one's native land." Quoted in Boym, 3. 2 9 7 Johannes Hofer, Dissertatw Medica de nostalgia (Basel, 1688), quoted in Boym, 3. 2 9 8 Boym, 3. 2 9 9 Boym, 5. soo Boym, xiv. 3 0 1 Boym, xiv. 3 0 2 Boym, xv. 123 pure context where authenticity and transcendence are both present and everywhere."303 Nostalgia, like any narrative, is always ideological. "It seems to be an emotional antidote to politics," as Boym claims, "and thus remains the best political tool."304 For the Forderverein and its supporters, in its drive for that "impossibly pure context," the significance of the Stadtschloss in 1993 had to be articulated very carefully. It could not call up the spectre of the Hohenzollern dynasty, nor in any way suggest a restoration of the monarchy in unified Germany. It would also be disadvantageous for the facade of the palace to recall the repeated uprisings wherein it became the metaphoric and physical target of popular hatred and demands for political change.305 These attempts, incidentally, would not be entirely successful, as many of the visitor comments at the accompanying exhibition of the Schloss' history during the 1993 canvas installation revealed. "Why do democracies need palaces?" inquired one individual, while another wrote sarcastically, "no palace without an emperor!"306 Many Berliners suspicious about nostalgia for the German past urged that a reconstructed royal palace would be an 3 0 3 Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection (USA: Duke University Press, 1999), 23. 3 0 + Boym, 58. 3 0 5 The Stadtschloss was the site of the 1848 revolution in Berlin. By 1918, those who had previously tolerated (if resentfully) the dynasty now held it responsible for the catastrophe of World War I. Fearing that the palace would become a target for revolutionary groups, several armed vehicles with troops entered and set up machine guns on its roof (the royal family had not resided there since 1914). The Schloss became an armed citadel, and the whole neighborhood around it was cordoned off with the streets and bridges defended. Ultimately the public penetrated into the interior. Karl Liebknecht, a leader of the Independent Socialist Party, declared the Palace a possession of the German people from one of its baroque portals. See Taylor 22-3. Eight years after the emperor's abdication in 1918, the palace became the property of the Prussian state, parts of it serving at various times as a science institute, museum, and soup kitchen. However many of the building's 1500 rooms remained vacant. Mark McGee, Berlin: A Visual and Historical Documentation from 1925 to the Present (Woodstock and New York: The Overlook Press, 2002), 18. 3 0 6 Brian Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin, 55. 124 utterly misguided symbol for the new capital, "an architectural lurch to the right," as the writer Rudiger Schaper stated in the Suddeutsche Zeitung, "and an enormous encouragement for restorative tendencies in society."307 Like the pompous state ceremony surrounding the reburial of Friedrich II (Frederick the Great, the eighteenth-century ruler who had once said that territorial expansion was "the first rule of government") at Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam two years earlier, any symbolic gesture involving Germany's monarchical past could be interpreted as a revival of a German nationalist spirit and was cause for anxiety.308 For the members of the Forderverein, therefore, the Schloss, and the Schloss' relationship to the city, had to be discursively disassociated from the past political events and ideologies in which it had been implicated,309 and instead aligned with a cautiously selected and articulated historical narrative. The "home" that is longed for and sought through the canvas Stadtschloss, therefore, is a mythologized Berlin, a Berlin of clarity, coherence, and refinement. It is a 3 0 7 Rudiger Schaper, Suddeutsche Zeitung, 15 December, 1992. Quoted in Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin, 65. 308 Friedrich the Great, who had died in 1786, had stated in his will that he wished to be buried "without pomp or ceremony" at Sanssouci, but instead was interred with great pomp at the Garrison Church in Potsdam. He remained there until World War II, when in 1943 Goring moved the coffin to a Berlin cellar for its protection. Two years later, to guard it from advancing Russians, Hitler ordered it removed to a salt mine in Thuringia. The Americans discovered Friedrich and placed him in a church in Marburg. In 1953, the ruler's Hohenzollern heirs moved him once again, this time to the family plot near Stuttgart. Finally, German reunification prompted the family, some 205 years after his death, to grant Friedrich his last wish by interring him next to his beloved dogs at Sanssouci. The king's wish for simplicity, however, was not fulfilled, as Helmut Kohl transformed the reburial into a state occasion by insisting upon being present; the Bundeswehr sent an honour guard. "The affair reminded some observers of the 'Day of Potsdam' (March 21 1933)," states David Clay Large, "when Hitler and Hindenburg bowed before Friedrich's grave at the Garrison Church, thereby claiming an alliance between the Kaiserreich and the Third Reich." See Large, Berlin, 602. Like his effort six years previous to promote reconciliation with one of Germany's conquerors through a joint visit with President Ronald Reagan to the military cemetery at Bitburg, where numerous Waffen-SS were buried, Kohl's desire to "stand before our entire history," was a controversial gesture that could not help but be misinterpreted. Large, Berlin, 602. 309 Even during National Socialism, Adolf Hitler refused to set foot inside the Schloss, not wanting to associate his "thousand year Reich" with that of monarchical restoration. See Robert Taylor, Hohenzollern Berlin, 31. 125 fictionalized and idealized Berlin that looms large in the city's cultural imaginary, and one which has a special currency in the city's climate of chaos, disarray, and uncertainty after reunification: the Berlin of that monumentalized figure of early nineteenth-century Prussian civic architecture, Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The Stadtschloss was the work of a number of different architects over several centuries; each of the descendants of Friedrich II would order a series of demolitions, embellishments, and annexations to gradually transform the structure. Upon his ascension as Elector in 1535 Joachim II transformed the "unremarkable pile of Brandenburg brick"310 into a lavishly decorated Renaissance palace, complete with a large central courtyard and a Gothic chapel, replacing local building materials with imported sandstone. Beginning in 1698, Friedrich I (the first to crown himself King in Prussia311) employed some of the century's most well respected architects, Andreas Schliiter and Eosander von Gothe, to design new wings that would extend the Schloss westwards across the entire breadth of old Colin and new facades in a restrained northern baroque style punctuated with rows of ornately carved window surrounds. By Friedrich's death in 1713, the royal palace had taken on the form it would have for more than two centuries. During the first decades of the nineteenth century, Schinkel was called upon to refashion some of the palace's interiors, and the most impressive addition was Friedrich August Stuler's octagonal cupola, built in 1845, which rose seventy metres above the chapel at the structure's western gate (figure 58). 3 1 0 Mark McGee, Berlin: A Visual and Historical Documentation, 12. 3 1 1 Friedrich I had to be content with the title "King in Prussia" and not "King o/Trussia" because part of Prussia belonged to the Polish crown. 126 Although the Stadtschloss had taken on its final form in the early eighteenth century and its facade was decidedly northern baroque in style, the immediate surroundings of the city palace cohered only during the reign of Friedrich Wilhelm III (1787-1840), particularly through the efforts of Schinkel. Architectural historian Brian Ladd gives a clear description of the extent of the architect's mark on the pre-Wo rid War II Spreeinsel: As a result of Schinkel's work, the Lustgarten, the royal garden north of the palace, became the symbolic focal point of the state. On the south side stood the palace, representing the crown. To the east, representing the church, was the Protestant cathedral, a modest eighteenth century building completely redesigned by Schinkel. To the west, representing the army, was the baroque arsenal (1695-1706), a graceful building designed in part by Schliiter and later used as a historical museum by both postwar German states. Finally, the north side, representing culture, was Schinkel's most original contribution, the long colonnade of his museum (1823-30), known as the Old Museum after four more museum buildings were added behind it in the course of the next century.312 The repeated references to Schinkel in the above-quoted passage are far from coincidence. As Ladd's statement suggests, almost the entire vicinity of the Schloss consisted of buildings designed by Schinkel with an awareness of and an orientation to its dominant presence. It is this perceived symbiosis between Schloss and Schinkel that the Forderverein and its supporters point towards in their argument for a reconstructed palace in 1993. According to one writer, Schinkel intended the neo-classical simplicity of his Altes Museum — still perhaps the most celebrated historic building in the city — to offer a dialogue with the palace's intricate baroque facades.313 In this argument, then, it was only the form of the palace itself that could restore what was lost of central Berlin 3 1 2 Brian Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin, 54. 3 1 3 See Ladd, 54. 127 to any kind of visual coherence,314 namely, that could restore to Berlin the vision of Schinkel. In contrast, the modernist architecture of the Palast der Republik, with its visual language that deliberately broke with (but reflected in its mirrored facade) the historicist aesthetic that surrounded it, was simply unworthy of its prominent site.315 Quite simply, for the Forderverein and its followers, it was the Schloss alone that made the pieces of Schinkel's Berlin fit together.316 Thus the desire of the Schloss' supporters, a desire performed for the city in 1993 by the canvas simulation's sudden appearance in the space of the Spreeinsel, was not simply to restore its lost palace, but to resurrect in reunified Berlin the (imagined) city of Shinkel. Karl Friedrich Schinkel, trained by Berlin's renowned neoclassical architects David and Friedrich Gilly, 3 1 7 was active in the city in the first three decades of the nineteenth century,318 and his rise would be confluent with the re-emergence of Prussia as one of the most powerful states in a post-Napoleonic Europe of intensely nationalistic consciousness.319 Schinkel's architectural legacy is still very much visible in Berlin today; despite the number of structures destroyed in the Second World War, one could 3 1 4 Ladd, The Ghosts of Berlin, 20. 315 Wolf Siedler argues that the modernist architects failed to give form to the centre of the city. He believes that this is a task modernism never mastered, and hence we must look to earlier eras for guidance. See Wolf Jobst Siedler, "Das Schloss lag nicht in Berlin — Berlin war das Schloss," in Forderverein Berliner Stadtschlosses, Das Schloss? Ein Austellung uber die Mitte Berlins (Berlin: Ernst und Sohn, 1993), 20. 3 1 6 Ladd, 65. 3 1 7 As one of the first instructors at the newly-formed Berlin Bauakademie (Building Academy), Friedrich Gilly had formed a close relationship with the young Schinkel before his untimely death in 1800. Years after, Schinkel would write that it was Friedrich's severe and classicizing drawing for the Monument to Frederick the Great, on exhibition in Berlin in 1797, that led him into architecture. Later Schinkel would apprentice with Gilly's father, David. See Alan Balfour, Berlin: The Politics of Order 1737-1989 (New York: Rizzoli, 1990), 29. 3 , 8 Schinkel was selected as a civil architect in 1810 and named official architect and planner for Berlin in 1816. 3 1 9 Barry Bergdoll, Karl Friedrich Schinkel: An Architecture for Prussia (New York: Rizzoli, 1994), 9. 128 still argue that, as the popular novelist Theodor Fontane noted twenty years after the architect's death: "We are still living in a world of Schinkel's forms."320 As Brian Ladd's above-quoted description of the Spreeinsel suggests, Schinkel has occupied and continues to occupy a place of central importance in Berlin's cultural imaginary. Peter Behrens, Mies van der Rohe, Albert Speer and Philip Johnson all recommended a tour of Schinkel's buildings to younger architects.321 The bicentennial of Schinkel's birth in 1981 launched a veritable avalanche of new publications, critical commentary, exhibition catalogs, and guidebooks on the architect and his work, most notably the luxurious republication of Schinkel's own Sammlung Architektonischer Entwilrfe (Collection of Architectural Designs).3'1'2 Berlin's reunification allowed for the merging of museum collections, with new quarters on the Kulturforum for a vast Schinkel archive, as well as new accessibility to many of his buildings previously in East Germany, promising an even greater outpouring of new information and documentation in the years to come. Perhaps most telling is the way in which Schinkel's name is still called up in discussions over the possibilities for a reconstructed Berlin of the future: at the Lapidarium Conferences held in Berlin in 1995, Philip Johnson remarked to the gathering of internationally renowned architects that: Berlin had the best intervention in the Western World: the work of Schinkel. Although usually regarded as an architect and a painter, he actually was a city planner of genius, a designer whose work on the Spreeinsel is the very model of intervention in city plans His brilliant insertion of new buildings into the old can be a shining hope for our day. 3 2 3 3 2 0 Theodor Fontane, Die Graftschaft Ruppin, vol. 1 of Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg, vol. 9 of Sdmtliche Werke (Munich: Nymphenburger Verlagshandlung, 1959-75), 107. 3 2 1 Berdoll, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, 8. 3 2 2 Bergdoll, 9. 323 philip Johnson, in Berlin Babylon etc., 36. 129 Although he would realize only isolated elements of his comprehensive plan for central Berlin, 3 2 4 Schinkel nonetheless enjoys almost mythical status as having transformed the city from a muddy, canal-laced centre of guild shops and pre-industrial trade to a splendid bourgeois playground of grandiose monumentality worthy of the title of Prussian capital. It was the work of Schinkel alone, according to this view, which delivered Berlin from an "unorganized, undistinguished mess of forms," into "a coherent, elegant totality:325 In 1815, at the time when Schinkel became the official architect charged by Friedrich Wilhelm III to embellish Berlin, he found a city devoid of a plan, its appearance a motley collection of disparate buildings and ill-arranged networks of canals and streets. In the centre of the city was the island of Coin \jic~\, where the royal palace and cathedral stood near a barren and ugly parade ground whose edges were lined with a string of warehouses, factories, shops, and vending booths. It was this island that Schinkel would transform into a theatrical stage set for leisure and living. Through a series of designs for churches, city squares, a civic theatre and a new museum, warehouses and residential structures, Schinkel turned the centre of Berlin into a series of pleasing vistas and perspectives, varying in scale and orientation.326 Taking formal and philosophical inspiration from a Greece he would never visit but knew through the writings of Winkelmann, Goethe, and the teachings of Humboldt, many of Schinkel's best-known structures are defined by a restrained and rigorous classicism, a turn, notably, towards a Greek rather than imperial Roman architecture in an attempt to distance his style from that which was linked to the recent French 3 2 4 In 1817 Schinkel drew up an unsolicited plan for reordering the city's civic spaces, a plan in which his Neue Wache (New Guard House) would be a nodal point. The overall plan, which never received royal sponsorship by the financially strapped crown, included sites for new hospitals, warehouses, markets, streets, and the canals so vital to the Prussian transportation network and commerce. 3 2 5 James Allen Vann, "Karl Friedrich Schinkel: Berlin as the City Beautiful," Classical America 4 (1977), 174. 3 2 6 M. Christine Boyer, The City of Collective Memory, 99. 130 occupiers.327 The reception of this architecture in Berlin both during Schinkel's lifetime and afterward is inextricably bound up with a nascent German nationalism, sought through a perceived recuperation of "enlightened" Germanic ideals and humanism after liberation from the occupying French in 1813. His classicizing, "prettifying" commissions in Berlin (state theatre, state museum, and commercial structures) also implicate his work in the rise of a middle class consciousness and public sphere in Prussia, as "theatres, museums, and academies began to detach themselves from church or palace and lead a public life of their own."328 Propelled by an emergent ideal of German nationhood and an increasingly empowered bourgeoisie, Schinkel's structures embodied the ideal of the Spreeathen or "Athens on the River Spree." This epithet was first coined during and in reference to the reign of monarchs Friedrich Wilhelm II and III (1786-1796 and 1797-1840 respectively) whose liberal spirit fostered the creative talents of artists and humanists in a conscientious attempt to shift the image of Prussia and its capital from one of military emphasis to artistic excellence and intellectual discourse. Even though the notion of the Spreeathen^9 originated prior to the Napoleonic invasion and several decades before Schinkel's arrival on the Berlin scene, it is Schinkel himself who is credited with architecturally transforming Berlin into an "Athens on the Spree" at the precise moment 3 2 7 Rand Carter, "Karl Friedrich Schinkel: The Last Great Architect," originally published as a prefatory essay in Collection of Architectural Designs including those designs which have been executed and objects whose execution was intended by Karl Friedrich Schinkel (Chicago: Exedra Books Incorporated, 1981). See http://www.tc.umn.edu/~peikxOOl/rcessay.htm. 3 2 8 Carter, http://www.tc.urnn.edu/~peikx00l/rcessay.htm. 3 2 9 This characterization of Berlin's enlightened spirit derives from a poem by Erdmann Wirckers, dedicated to Friedrich I, King in Prussia (1710-1713), which reads in part: "Die Filrsten wollen selbst in deine Schule gehn,/Drumb hastu auchfiir Sie ein Spree-Athen gebaut." (See Hermann G. Pundt, Schinkel's Berlin: A Study in Environmental Planning (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1972), 241, fn. 3. 131 Prussia sought to (re)invent itself. His most admired structures, including the Altes Museum to the north of the Schloss with its restrained columned and porticoed facade (figure 59) and the temple-like Schauspielhaus on the Gendarmenmarkt (figure 60), quite literally made material the monumentality and desired social spaces of an imagined "Athens of the North" and thus helped underscore and picture for bourgeois Berliners searching for a distinct (and distinctly German) identity the city's direct descent from an enlightened and rational classical past. Schinkel's designs for Berlin are not without their critics: for architect Axel Schultes, a participant in the 1993 Spreeinsel design competition, it was precisely Berlin's desire in the early nineteenth century to formulate itself on this classical model which destroyed all possibility of urbanity in the city centre. Instead, he argues, what was created was a number of discrete and isolated structures, cut off from communication with each other and with the populace: The model was not the polis but the Acro-polis - the high city, the non-city. This absence of feeling for the urban would henceforth become a cursed Berlin tradition. All the temples, villas, and palaces, pergolas and pavilions, memorials and follies were intended to create a state and not a city — or to create a state within the city, a true expression of the Prussian way of thinking. The obstacle to the development of the city was not the crisis of the objects — to refer to Colin Rowe. It was the rise of the objects and their piteous air of self-congratulation that prevented Berlin from finding a spatial order in central locations.330 Interestingly however, most Schinkel scholars will ardently stress that the significance of his work cannot be deduced to the study of a series of singular structures; rather it is his vision of a total whole that is striking and unique. "Schinkel's transformation of central Berlin cannot be judged solely as a statement of visual form," one historian 3 3 0 Axel Schultes, in Alan Balfour, ed., Berlin, 41. 132 urges. "It is also a total work of art, a Gesamtkunstwerk " 3 S 1 The perception that Schinkel's talent lay in his ability to construct a pleasing totality out of the sprawling, incoherent snarl of the city was made clear even in the architect's own time, as an 1834 panoramic painting by one of the architect's contemporaries, Eduard Gartner, demonstrates. Using the roof of Schinkel's recently completed Friedrichswerder Kirche as a vantage point, the artist depicts a 360-degree view of central Berlin dominated by the architect's structures (figures 61 and 62). As we can see, it is a landscape not only "filled in" or made complete by Schinkel, but also a panoramic view envisaged from the very roof of one of Schinkel's buildings. It is this benign spectre of "enlightened" and monumental bourgeois planning, of Schinkel's "Athens on the Spree" that envisioned Berlin as a rational, proud, and coherent whole (an "impossibly pure context," one without rupture or conflict, to once again call up Susan Stewart's discussion of nostalgia), which is summoned in 1993 by the Forderverein's refulgent canvas curtain. "In a quasi-Wagnerian vein" to quote literary critic Rolf Goebel, the Forderverein's vision for the city "advocater_ed~J a restored and 'Gesamtkunstwerk Berlin' in the city's central district," a total work of art, Where the reconstructed schloss \jic~} would offer a unifying force for the putative restoration of the legendary 'Spreeathen' ('Athens on the River Spree') aura, which is lauded as an exciting counterpart to the overwhelming effect of ubiquitous modern buildings.332 But the motivation to resurrect Schinkel's imagined Spreeathen of the past in a reunified Berlin for the future, I would argue, extends far beyond simply providing an "exciting 3 3 1 James Allen Vann, 33. 3 3 2 Rolf Goebel, "Berlin's Architectural Citations: Reconstruction, Simulation, and the Problem of Historical Authenticity," Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (October 2003, vol. 118, n.5), 1274. 133 counterpart" to the city's current architectural visage, and betrays a desire for the urban space of the city to articulate a totalized historical narrative: a fictitious narrative of seamless continuity located strategically before both the horrors of the Third Reich and the uncomfortable presence of the GDR. For those voices celebrating Schinkel after reunification (voices speaking predominantly — and not coincidentally — from the former West), the nineteenth century bourgeois architect's classicizing monumentalism was perceived as entirely unmarked by the shadow of dictatorship, which clearly demarcated it from other totalized and historicizing visions for Berlins past, both real and imagined.333 These other tyrannical monumentalisms (understood in West German postwar discourse as entirely outside the West, both temporally and politically) included Albert Speer's megalomaniac plan for Berlin as Germania, capital of a thousand year Reich (figure 63) with its bombastic North-South Axis and outrageously proportioned Volkshalle, or Soviet-led efforts to transform East Berlin into a communist showpiece, seen in the gigantism of the Soviet War Memorial in the district of Treptow dedicated in 1949 (figure 64), or in the notorious Stalinallee, the eighty-metre wide and kilometers long boulevard constructed during the 1950s that cut through the working class district of Friedrichshain with 3ss p o r Schloss supporter Dieter Hoffmann-Axthelm, the building was one whose significance (and thus symbolic power) entirely transcended Germany itself. He argues that the structure was a masterpiece of Baroque architecture, which can be seen as a common European heritage shared by Germans, "a sort of international style — not of late but of early modernity." (Boym, 185) Thus it is not so much a symbol of German identity but of urban identity that is European, argues Hoffmann-Axthelm, comparing it to the Louve in Paris or the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. "The Schloss was never an expression of the German romantic soul but rather of a common European enlightened rationalism and a presomantic conception of measured beauty," he states. See Boym, 185. However, Hoffmann-Axthelm does not account for the fact that a reconstructed Schloss would not grace a European city-state but the capital of a reunified German nation. 134 opulent-looking, Zuckerbackerstil (wedding cake style) apartments for the "heroic proletariat" (figure 6 5 ) . 3 3 4 In contrast, the monumental vista promised by the canvas Schloss called up a vision imagined by a singular and "enlightened" architect, one who believed (not unlike those attempting to redesign the Spreeinsel as seat of federal power and bustling civic centre in 1993) that Berlin could be simultaneously a Spreeathen, rivaling the mythic splendour of the Grecian city-state, and the seat of a modern monarchy that could rival London, Vienna, or Paris. 3 3 5 Unraveling the way in which the temporary canvas Stadtschloss was able to feign this dazzling — if fictitious — Gesamtkunstwerk requires us to turn our attention towards Schinkel's theatrical treatment of urban space, and how he understood the city to perform. Soon after his return to Berlin from travels in Italy, France, and Austria, Schinkel became interested in the new phenomenon of panoramas.336 The panorama was a recent 3 3 4 In immediate postwar West Germany, commentators did not pass up the opportunity to draw parallels between Nazi architecture and the Stalinallee. In a 1952 Der Spiegel article on construction of the Stalinallee (in which the GDR is referred to simply as "The Zone," Albert Speer and the Third Reich are mentioned repeatedly. West German architect Hans Scharoun mocked the East's claim that the Stalinallee's east-west axis expressed "the great idea of liberation of our people from Hitler's fascism," by describing the broad axis as "Speerisch." The article's author writes: "Speer's unfinished building plans were found a few weeks ago, buried under dust and spider webs.. .for the West, they are uninteresting. Not so for the East." It should be well noted that the implicit message in these critiques, as Deborah Howell-Ardila articulates, is that West German architecture - and by extension, its government - is free from the Nazi taint because of its rejection of'fascist' monumentality and axiality. Quoted in Deborah Howell-Ardila, "Berlin's Search for a 'Democratic' Architecture: Post-World War II and Post-unification," German Politics and Society Issue 48, Vol.16, No.3 (Fall 1998), 65. 3 3 5 Bergdoll, 9. 3 3 6 Vann, 174. 135 innovation,337 a cylindrical structure designed to exhibit continuous three-hundred-and-sixty-degree paintings, which for the first time allowed representations of landscapes stretched on canvas to surround spectators on all sides.338 It was an urban cultural spectacle that appealed to a newly constituted bourgeois public, an "a unique visual form that involved both the viewers' eyes and body," making spectators aware of the act of viewing by requiring them to be active (to move around in a circle), as they were at once in front of and inside the painting. This new medium, offers Denise Oleksijczuk, effectively gave form to the rapidly expanding middle classes' desire to be "all-seeing."339 Schinkel held his first public exhibition of so-called "optical perspective paintings" in 1807 and continued until 1815 with growing success. "With a keen sense for the taste of his mixed audience in Berlin," historian Hermann Pundt describes, Schinkel's panoramas, over fifteen feet high and ninety feet long, "depicted remote and exotic places and romanticized timely events"340 (such as "The Burning of Moscow by Napoleon" exhibited in 1812), cleverly presenting an Other to the German publics' own emerging national identity. The visual and psychological impact of these presentations was intensified by Schinkel's use of a hidden choir and special lighting effects behind transparent screens, producing an artistically created and sensational total 3 3 7 The panorama was invented and patented in Edinburgh in 1787 by the Irish artist Robert Barker. Barker called his invention La nature a coup d'oeil. 3 3 8 For discussion of the history of the panorama, see Stephan Oettermann, The Panorama: A History of a Mass Medium. Trans. Deborah Lucas Schneider (New York: Zone Books, 1997); Silvia Bordini, Storia del Panorama: la Visione totale nella pittura del XIX secolo (Rome: Officina, 1984); Ralph Hyde, Panoramania! The Art and Entertainment of the All-Embracing' View, introduction by Scott B. Wilcox (London: Trefoil publications in association with the Barbican Art Gallery, 1988); Bernard Comment, The Panorama (London-. Reaktion Books, 1999); Denise June Blake Oleksijczuk, "The Dynamics of Spectatorship in the First Panoramas: Vision, the Body and British Imperialism, 1878-1820" (Ph.D. Dissertation in Art History, University of British Columbia, 2001). 3 3 9 Oleksijczuk, 10. 3 4 0 Hermann Pundt, 103. 136 environment.341 While none of the architect's panoramas survive, an etching for his "Panorama von Palermo" (figure 66) gives some idea of the enveloping scope and intricate detail of these enormous landscape scenes.342 Schinkel's skill with the panorama, as many scholars have noted, had great effect on his designs for the architectural space of nineteenth-century Berlin. For architectural historian Hermann Pundt, it is the scale of his panoramas that should be recognized as the most consequential aspect of the relationship between these painted environments and the three-dimensional world of actual buildings and spaces. "By encircling the spectators with an ever-changing perspective," he argues, Schinkel realized that the architect's organizing of the physical environment could not be restricted to a single building, street, or space. Man's vision was broad - even the layman was becoming aware of this through the popularity of panoramas — and his involvement was dynamic, not static. The relationship of building, space, and man was constantly changing, and to avoid chaos, some harmony of spirit would have to infuse the whole.343 Through the panorama's dramatic effect of engulfing the viewer, Schinkel learned the art of composing huge public spaces through which the spectator moved.3 4 4 His was a landscape created by man, "offering an ordered and stable vista in which the rhythmic movement and the distancing of the eye from close-ups to long-shots, in scanning and 3 4 1 Pundt, 105. 342 Barry Bergdoll notes that relatively few of the optical-perspective pictures Schinkel created between 1807 and 1815 were in fact panoramas of the sort he had admired during his 1804 stay in Paris: "Schinkel was not content to practice an established medium; he began to play with the relationship of the viewer to the perspective through the intervention of an architectural frame." See Bergdoll, 26. Bergdoll stresses that many of Schinkel's optical-perspective pictures (none survive) were flat bands of landscapes exhibited in a frame of columns that established a deliberately misleading perspectival effect. "Unlike the panoramas," Bergdoll continues, "where the architecture of the room is meant to disappear in favour of the boundless pictorial representation, the illusionist diorama employs the intervening architecture as a vital frame that transforms the vision of the everyday." See Bergdoll, 26. 3 4 3 Hermann Pundt, 105. 3 4 4 Boyer, 99. 137 traveling views, played important new roles."345 In Schinkel's work, as M . Christine Boyer succinctly asserts, "the perspectival stage had reached its ultimate achievement: the scenographic arrangement of the modern city."346 The architect's manipulation of city space as a theatrical stage was made strikingly clear for Berliners on the opening-night performance at his Schauspielhaus in 1821. Seated inside the theatre auditorium, the audience could envision a coherent urban setting far different from the unorganized, fractured city that surrounded them. Schinkel-the-painter had created a dramatic stage backdrop that imaged the work of Schinkel-the-architect; gazing at this screen, privileged theatre-goers could apprehend an expansive and commanding view of the Schauspielhaus within its spatial environment of the Gendarmenmarkt and set against a distant horizon (figure 67), an idealized version, not coincidentally, of that available to the king from the royal apartments on the upper floors of the Stadtschloss.347 Schinkel treated the actual cityscape of Berlin as a panoramic sequence of structures, a theatrical arrangement of new urban spaces encompassing the viewer-cum-city-dweller's entire field of vision. For the architect, this seemingly inclusive scene could order the unruly and often distressing chaos of the rapidly expanding nineteenth-century metropolis into a coherent and pleasing totality, and present to a populace searching for a definition of "Germanness" a seamless and monumental stage-set where buildings of uniform height recede into the distance, as his 1834 drawing of the long view east down Unter den Linden shows (figure 6 8 ) . 3 4 8 In stretching itself across the empty space of the Spreeinsel over one hundred and fifty years later, the canvas 3 4 5 Boyer, 102. 3 4 6 Boyer, 102. 3 4 7 Bergdoll , 60. 3 4 8 Boyer, 100. 138 Stadtschloss afforded its audiences a remarkably similar (if temporary) vision of coherence and clarity in a recently reunified city that was similarly unruly, chaotic, and in search of a new identity (see figure 46). For the months of the simulation's existence, the Spreeinsel itself became a "panoramic sequence of structures," an open theatre inviting Berliners and visitors alike to assume a masterful gaze and apprehend the seamless (and with the aid of the mirror erected against the fagade of the Palast der Republik, unending) view of German and Berlinisch unity that both city and nation desired to see at the heart of Berlin. It was a nostalgic and fictitious vision, of course, one turned "toward a future-past, a past which has only ideological reality,"349 absent of any potentially troublesome irregularities and discordance — both of the past and present — that might complicate or invalidate this desired historical narrative of clarity, refinement, and monumentality.350 Like Freud's notion of a screen memory, wherein a false fagade, one cobbled together from a number of disparate remembered experiences or entirely invented ones, is thrown up by the unconscious in the attempt to shield the ego from confronting a traumatic memory,351 the canvas Stadtschloss worked as a 3 4 9 Susan Stewart, On Longing, 23. 3 5 0 The desire of many to resurrect Schinkel's Berlin was evidenced even more explicitly in 1999 when a corner of the architect's 1840 Bauakademie (Architecture School and Central State Building Administration) was re-erected in its original location mere metres from the vanished schloss, to the southwest across the Spree canal. The compact brick cube of the Bauakademie, which like the schloss had suffered damage in the war, had been demolished by the communist state in 1961 to make way for the East German Foreign Ministry, which itself was detonated in 1995. Not surprisingly, the possibility of reconstructing Schinkel's Bauakademie has met with controversy (although the debates were less heated given the fact that the building is not perceived to be as ideologically burdened as the Stadtschloss. As with the Forderverein, advocates of a rebuilt Bauakademie argue that its presence is imperative to the urban space of the reunified city centre, stressing that although efforts have so far only yielded a fragment of the former structure, "the corner can stand well for the whole," and that "already it has begun to alter perceptions of the spatial order of Berlin's war scarred historic centre." Barry Bergdoll, "Schinkel and Mies, Urban Perspective," 26. 3 5 1 See Sigmund Freud, "Screen Memories," The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Freud, Volume III, set 4, translated by James Strachey (London: The Hogarth Press, 1962), 301-322, especially 320-321. 139 screen to deflect attention away from one set of (more difficult) issues in order to focus discussion on another. One might be inclined to argue, after Fredric Jameson, that Berlin's simulated Stadtschloss is a convincing example of postmodernism or the "cultural logic of late capitalism": the attempt, as he states in the introduction to his 1991 text, "to think the present historically in an age that has forgotten how to think historically in the first place."352 The danger of this arbitrary and aestheticized pastiche of fragmentized pasts, Jameson argues, lies in its effacement of genuine memory and the disappearance of traces of authentic history in a "self-referential labyrinth of textuality, stereotypes and aesthetics" which produce, to borrow the words of art historian Tilmann Buddensieg, nothing more than "gruselige Falschungenfur Touristen, die nicht genau hinschauen."353 With its thin veneer of simulated history unrolled across the space of the Spreeinsel, the canvas Stadtschloss might be aligned with other examples of the Berlin's past resurrected for easy consumption, perhaps the most striking being the Esplanade Hotel in Potsdamer Platz. The Esplanade, built in 1908, was one of only two historic landmark buildings to survive from the pre-WWII Potsdamer Platz (figure 69), Berlin's most well known square.354 More a frenetic intersection than a proper plaza (and in fact 3 5 2 Fredric Jameson, "Introduction," Postmodernism: Or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 1991), ix. 3 8 3 "Eerie falsifications for tourists who won't look too closely." Tilmann Buddensieg, quoted in Mathias Schreiber, "Das verriickte Traumbild," Der Spiegel 15 (January 2001), 183. 3 5 4 The Esplanade Hotel boasted 400 rooms, 102 baths, and a luxurious restaurant operated by the Ritz Carlton group. At 10 to 15 marks a night, the Esplanade was Berlin's second most expensive hotel after the Adlon on Unter den Linden. It became the Kaiser's favorite spot for holding his notorious stag parties, and was a popular rendez-vous point for film stars and politicians. The Esplanade was seriously damaged during the war and although it remained on 140 the location of the first traffic light in continental Europe), Potsdamer Platz had been a dynamic nexus of commerce and nightlife which attained near mythical status during the first decades of the twentieth century in its embodiment of the intense, unfettered cultural and sexual liberalism and free-enterprise of the metropolis' Weimar era. The entire site of the former Potsdamer Platz, which had languished as a vast bombed out "no-man's-land" next to the Berlin Wall for four decades, was after reunification quickly parceled off and sold to multi-national corporations Daimler Benz, Sony, and Asean Brown Boveri (ABB), as well as to Hertie, a West German department store chain. After receiving intense criticism over what was widely condemned to be a sale of centrally-located real estate well below market price, the Berlin Senate demanded in recompense that the Sony consortium (in whose sector borders the Esplanade stood) preserve and restore aspects of the historic structure. Long negotiations with the Senate resulted in Sony agreeing to relocate and incorporate two rooms from the crumbling Esplanade, the Kaisersaal (or Emperor's Salon) and the Fruhstucksaal (Breakfast Salon), into architect Helmut Jahn's new architectural program.3 5 5 Wedged into the Sony Forum's spectacular corporate self-celebration of steel and neon and reflective surface, the cracked and faded walls of the former Esplanade Hotel are the edge of the western sector and eked out a marginal existence as a second rate movie house, it was merely a sad relic from a lost era. Mark McGee, 166. 3 5 5 Because of the delicate structural state of the Esplanade, the entire Kaisersaal (Emperor's Salon) had to be moved as a single unit. To accomplish this Herculean task, the 1300 ton salon was reinforced with concrete supports and steel girders, then gently raised up by a crane at a rate of 1 cm per minute, twisted 90 degrees, and placed on air cushioned supports. It was then sent down a steel track on a computer driven dolly and transported 75 meters to its final resting spot next to the old Palm Court. Meanwhile, the former Fruhstucksaal (Breakfast Salon) was broken up into 500 pieces and reassembled nearby. Two of its walls were left behind, protected behind glass (figure), to serve as a visual time capsule of the Esplanade in its damaged post-war state. The remaining portion of the translocated salon is now occupied by a Parisian-style cafe. See McGee, 168. 141 now encased behind glass and on display, tacked up like a disintegrating tapestry in a museum vitrine. The delicate neo-rococo walls and ceiling of the Kaisersaal, one side omitted dollhouse-style to permit views of the sugary interior from the Forum plaza, now hosts a resurrected Cafe Josty, the mythologized cafe which in the Weimar years was a well-known meeting place for intellectuals and artists (most famously the cabaret star Marlene Dietrich) (figure 70). The former interior of the Fruhstucksaal, with its ornate pastel painted fireplace surround, is now turned inside out, so to speak, to become part of the Forum's exterior space (figure 71). Pinned behind glass, the crumbling wall is but a flat screen, a visual spectacle to be gazed at by tourists along with the two-storey IMAX film advertisements on the Forum walls opposite. For novelist and essayist Martin Mosebach, the most appropriate term describing this architectural collage is not "Denkmalschutz" ("monument preservation") but rather "Denkmalsverwertung" ("monument exploitation").356 "Archaeologically preserved like a dinosaur skeleton, a curiously touching, helpless fossil that seems almost crushed by the gigantic girders carrying the modern luxury apartments above," (figure 72) Rolf Goebel asks, is Jahn's design solution to be applauded "as a thought-provoking way of preserving endangered remnants of the past for new public use?"357 Or rather, as Jameson might suggest, have the Esplanade fragments been reduced to a lavish stage production of parcelized history, a performance for entertainment and consumption within a dazzling spectacle of privatized corporate power?3 5 8 Of course, the Esplanade is not the first example of Berlin re-positioning its architectural fragments from the past into a new urban context: the former GDR's 3 5 6 Quoted in Goebel, 1276-7. 3 5 7 Goebel, 1276. 3 5 8 Goebel, 1276. 142 Staatsratsgebaude (Council of State building) on the Spreeinsel incorporates a portal of the demolished Stadtschloss as a tribute to the fact that from its balcony Karl Liebknecht proclaimed the Socialist Republic on 9 November 1918 (figure 73), the Kronprinzenpalais on Unter den Linden features a restaurant containing a doorway from Karl Friedrich Schinkel's demolished Bauakademie, and the ruined remains of the late nineteenth-century neo-Romanesque Kaiser-Wilhelms-Gedachtniskirche on the Kurfiirstendamm have been re-worked into a modernist memorial structure (figure 74). But the glass-framed Esplanade and the canvas Stadtschloss differ from these earlier examples in one important respect: both are self-consciously produced for and positioned within a post-unification landscape, a fact that complicates the sudden reappearance and re-use of these historic pasts. In the atmosphere of reconstruction, redefinition and re-invention that pervaded these first years after 1990, Berlin's desire to claim and project (both within Germany and internationally) a coherent, singular, and tourist-friendly past takes on a different and more urgent timbre. Just as in the case of the canvas Schloss, the incorporation of the shell of the historic Esplanade in the redesigned Potsdamer Platz resurrects a powerful idea: here the mythologized culture of Berlin's interwar years — the only other time the city was unified under a democratic government - so powerfully signified by the former Potsdamer Platz with its dazzling crush of cabarets, cafes, and commercial enterprise, and so brutally suffocated by the Third Reich. 3 5 9 In fact, just as the spectre of Schinkel s 5 9 Not surprisingly, the role of many Potsdamer Platz buildings for the Nazi political apparatus is left conveniently unmentioned in the desire to recall the area's history during post-unification reconstruction. In fact the building next to the Hotel Esplanade, at 15 Bellevuestrasse, functioned from 1935 as the Volksgerichtshof or "People's Court," handing out more than 12 000 death sentences in the ten years of its existence. In 1940 the so-called Euthanasie-Zentrale or "Euthanasia Headquarters" moved in a few buildings further down at 4 Tiergartenstrasse, to 143 is called up in the much of the discussion around the reconstruction of Berlin's desired centre, so too many other areas of the city, as Deborah Smail and Corey Ross argue in the recent publication Representing the German Nation, have looked to the Weimar period for inspiration "and for a sense of what is genuinely 'Berlin.'"360 The exhumation of Weimar Berlin functions to suggest another historical continuity in the reunified city: an uninterrupted legacy of liberalism, tolerance, and cultural experimentation that twentieth-century Berlin so clearly did not enjoy. Interestingly, however, two different historical narratives are simultaneously re-visioned both at the newly privatized and tourist-friendly post-unification Potsdamer Platz and on the Spreeinsel. The original Cafe Josty, that favorite haunt of intellectuals and bohemians, was in no way associated with the Esplanade Hotel, itself a decadent rendez-vous point for the Kaiser's aristocratic companions and Berlin's wealthy conservative elite. Revealing the desire to associate the reunified city with a narrative of the modernity and liberalism of the Weimar years and at the same time provide visitors with the spectacle of centuries old lavishness and wealth, the new Potsdamer Platz conflates the Berlin of Bertolt Brecht, Fritz Lang, and Christopher Isherwood with the architectural signifiers of Wilhelminian pomp and extravagance, ironically the very same constrictive, morally rigid culture against which Weimar culture rebelled. In much the same way, the Forderverein's canvas Stadtschloss, in calling up Schinkel's totalizing, rational vision house the body organized to plan and implement systematic mass murder of the mentally and physically impaired. See Hans Wilderotter, "Outside Potsdam Gate: The History of the Square and its Surroundings," Der Potsdamer Platz: Urbane Architekturfur das neue Berlin/Potsdmaer Platz: Urban Architecture for the New Berlin (Berlin: Verlagsburo Jovis), 2000, 23-24. 3 6 0 Deborah Smail and Corey Ross, "New Berlins and New Germanies: history, myth, and the German Capital in the 1920s and 1990s," Representing the German Nation: History and Identity in Twentieth Century Germany. Ed. Mary Fulbrook and Martin Swales (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), 64 144 and implied humanism of the 'Spreeathen," conveniently eclipses the Schloss as the preeminent symbol of the autocratic rule of the Hohenzollern dynasty. Nearly every metropolitan centre displays examples of a similar kind of indiscriminate appropriation of the past, but rarely does this past perform such a desperate task for the present. It is not enough therefore to sum up the canvas Schloss, as Susan Buck-Morss does, as simply "a brilliant example of post-modern principles," an aesthetic resolution in place of a political one, and "a pseudo-Schloss providQng] a pseudo-nation with a pseudo-past."361 The Schloss does far more than, as Buck-Morss understands it, simply "reduc[V] national identity to a tourist attraction and stag[V] the German nation as a theme park."362 Just as in the new Potsdamer Platz's repositioned Esplanade, the canvas Schloss on the Spreeinsel may indeed function as a postmodern spectacle of grandeur and lavishness to be consumed by hungry visitors to the city centre, but it simultaneously acts as a seamless skin of continuity applied to the fissured, gaping, and incongruent landscape of the post-unification city, covering over the disturbing fault-lines of historical experience, and silencing the question "But what came between...?". Of course, the fundamental element that distinguishes the canvas Schloss from these other reused traces of the past is the fact that it is not an actual fragment of a historical structure, but a simulation. To the charge that a reconstructed Stadtschloss would simply be the copy of a lost original, the Forderverein Berliner Stadtschlosses argues that the aura of a building - the "essence" of its value - does not lie within the original physical structure but in the architect's design. Countering claims that rebuilding the 3 6 1 Susan Buck-Morss, "Fashion in Ruins: History after the Cold War," Radical Philosophy 68 (Autumn 1994), 10-17. 3 6 2 Buck-Morss, 10-17. 145 Schloss would simply involve the erection of a Disneyfied fake, the group's official website, in an invocation of that most quintessential of "Germanic" building types, argues the following: In architecture, the architect's genius is to be found in the plans. Hardly a single architect of a gothic cathedral lived to see its completion, perhaps at most finishing the apse. Hundreds of stonemasons and sculptors, bricklayers, and other manual laborers brought his idea to completion, often generations later. If the plans or comprehensive documentation exist, such buildings can be rebuilt, and continuity maintained. Because of weathering, all historical buildings have long since experienced one, or often multiple, renewals of their fagades. They thus have become copies of themselves. Likewise the demolished Berlin Palace was comprehensively restored in the nineteenth century. Thus Walter Ulbricht, who ordered its destruction, destroyed largely a copy of Schliiter's building, but not its essence.363 However, it is not a fully reconstructed Schloss that appears on the Spreeinsel in 1993, but rather a flat, painted simulation of it. This is a copy that brashly announces its inauthenticity: with its cartoonish yellow hue and rippling fagade, no one could confuse the enormous canvas screen with a real piece of architecture. It is an imposter, a copy: and significantly, a copy that is flat. It is this flatness, particularly, the temporary canvas Schloss' ephemerality and provisionality, which necessitates further attention. It is fabled that in the eighteenth century Catherine the Great of Russia organized an entourage to view her most recently acquired provinces of Ukraine and the Crimea, the development of which she had entrusted to her favorite general, Gregory Potemkin. However, in the five years of his control over the regions, Potemkin had done little to alleviate the rampant disease and poverty. Fearing Catherine's wrath, the General commanded the construction of a false village to deceive her: elaborately painted fagades See www.berliner-schloss.de. 146 to feign prosperity and order, masking the devastating reality behind. As the czarina's barge floated along the river, she was impressed to see an orderly scene of tidy house fronts, businesses, even waving villagers, all of which, after the ruler's boat had safely passed, were hurriedly dismantled and re-erected at the next hamlet downstream. On the one hand, Berlin's temporary canvas facade functioned similarly to Potemkin's elaborate ruse: both were desperate attempts to mask an uncomfortable and unstable reality with a more coherent imaginary one (an imagined present in the case of Potemkin, and an imagined past and future in the case of the canvas Schloss). The painted Stadtschloss curtain aimed to construct a seamless and conclusive image of Berlin, one that belied any fissures or threats to that image. In this way, it also resembled the numerous other painted tarpaulins in Berlin and elsewhere across Europe temporarily stretched over the fagades of buildings undergoing restoration, such as those that encased the Brandenburg Gate for most of 2002 (figure 75), shielding the unfinished structure with a representation of its own refurbished image. Like Potemkin's phony village and the Brandenburg Gate's temporary sheath, the canvas Stadtschloss formed an illusory screen: a surface for the projection of desires - aesthetic and ideological - which might be said to function in much the same way as Freud's screen memory. And indeed, it may be that, as the German architectural theorist Philipp Oswalt has recently stated, "Die bruchige Geschichte Berlins verursacht eine ungestillte Sehnsucht nach Kontinuitdt und Homogenitat,364 and the yearning for just one such illusory, ostensibly seamless screen. On the other hand, however, the canvas simulation itself may suggest that the inverse is also true: that the horrifying events 364 "The fractured history of Berlin creates an insatiable yearning for homogeneity and continuity." Philipp Oswalt, "Simulation," in Berlin: Stadt ohne Form, 89. 147 which resulted in such a "bruchige Geschichte" events which demand continued "remembering," simultaneously force Berlin to repel the homogeneity and continuity it so desperately desires. For all the simulated Schloss' monumental posturing, its aggressive reclamation of space, it is merely a canvas screen, a flimsy tarpaulin fagade. Nothing but empty space stands behind this skin; it is ultimately harmless: quickly packed up and removed, leaving no permanent imprint upon the space of the Spreeinsel itself. Might this phenomenon's very materiality (or more accurately, its lack thereof) unwittingly betray a profound ambivalence between Berlin's longing for monumentality or permanence and the continual deferring of it? My claim is that this screen did not mask (even though it may have been attempting to) but reveal: reveal the tenuousness and delicacy of the efforts to redefine and declare as finished and singular the new reunified Berlin. In this way the canvas Schloss was not a mask but rather a stage backdrop, or an elaborate curtain, one which would (metaphorically) open to reveal a profound ambivalence and urge to defer the very fixity it desired. While most discussions of the Schloss' physical attributes fixate on the phenomemon's scale and colour, it is the provisional nature, the fragility of the thing, which may point most compellingly to the complexities of Berlin's redefinition. When viewed through this lens, the Forderverein's canvas Schloss comes into focus as one example of a curious succession of flat fagades erected in Berlin's urban space, each at specific historical moments and under differing ideological circumstances, but all emphatically declaring, despite their temporary nature, a new order and a singular and 148 monumental vision for the future. In 1938 and 1941 for example, Albert Speer drew upon the extraordinary image-making skills of the U F A film studios at Babelsburg and Tempelhof by ordering full-sized two-dimensional mock-ups of the future Reich Chancellery and Regiment Barracks (respectively) constructed to ensure the visual effect of his designs (figures 76 and 77). 3 6 5 Just over a half-century later, similar facades — samples of proposed building materials — appear on the edges of the massive construction site at Potsdamer Platz in reunified Berlin, (figure 78), and a single corner of Schinkel's demolished Bauakademie, as I mentioned in the introduction to this text, is re-erected in its original red brick on its former footprint mere metres from the defunct Palast der Republik, in the hopes of generating public support for a full reconstruction (figure 79). Like oversized stage sets awaiting some preposterously large production, these facades announce their own artificiality. In their utter flatness, and in the absurdity of their almost surgical disconnectedness from their surroundings, they eerily (and almost compulsively) recall Berlin's nearly all-pervasive landscape of 1945, when the heat from incendiary bombs had reduced whole neighborhoods of apartments to simply their stone street fronts, through the gaping windows of which one saw nothing but open sky (figures 80 and 81). In the immediate postwar period too, flat screens of enormous proportions were propped up in front of the ruins of the city in both the eastern and western sectors. While not architectural facades, these images were indeed a form of construction: each in their own way and according to their own ideology, a means of building the provisional illusion of a new reality. One peculiar photograph records East Berliners 365 philipp Oswalt, "Simulation," 92. 149 dressed in their Sunday best as they march vigorously along a road cleared of rubble past enormous placards propped up on mountains of ruin, painted with images of a healthy life of family and Heim. a makeshift vision of a better future for those whose lives and families were torn apart by war (figure 82). Oddly, these screens make no attempt to mask the ruins upon which they lean, but rather seem to frame the devastation beyond. Even the Berlin Wall, that most seemingly stable of signifiers, was always perceived (for very different reasons, depending upon what side of the Wall you stood) as an entirely provisional structure. The demarcation that began merely as a painted line (figure 83) quickly utilized the facades of Berlin's ubiquitous Mietskaserne that ran along the border zone. Windows and doors were bricked up, and the structures behind demolished; buildings became fagade only, and homes became a dividing line between hostile states (figure 84). In time this temporary Wall was itself replaced, to be repeatedly re-built in different materials throughout the GDR's existence (figure 85). The reoccurrence of such temporary facades in Berlin places the Forderverein's canvas Stadtschloss in another context (as one instance along a strange trajectory), and seems to suggest an interest in provisionality, in the desire to perpetually revise, to defer final statements and fixity of meaning. Indeed, historian Rudy Koshar suggests in his recent publication the preservation of national monuments in twentieth-century Germany that, "transiency, provisionality, and lightness had been part of German national identity for a long time, even at those moments when it seemed heaviest and most concerned about establishing a centuries-old lineage."366 In a seemingly contradictory manner, Koshar argues, "the preservation of historic landmarks from grandiose public 3 6 6 Rudy Koshar, Germany's Transient Pasts: Preservation and National Memory in the Twentieth Century (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1998), 330. 150 buildings to modest peasant and working class houses, has unintentionally revealed the indeterminacy, the quality of not leading to a definitive end or result, of German national identity."367 Perhaps those facades designed to feign monumentality and permanence, to project a new order, are really about the desire to never finish, to always be able to re-articulate, to repeatedly begin anew. Literary critics have noted that the historiography of German literature after 1945 seems to suffer from a similar repetition compulsion: the continual return of new beginnings. In his recent book Present Pasts, Andreas Huyssen writes that in histories of German literature, The myth of the Nullpunkt, the JVende, the new beginning, keeps coming back in different guises: in the literature of the ruins (Trummerliteratur) after 1945; in the much-touted death of literature and the emergence of operative writing, documentary, and reportage in the 1960s; in the farewell of 1990 to the literature of the F R G [.. ."J.3 6 8 The discourse on Berlin's post-unification urban reconstruction (particularly as it is articulated by German scholars) makes use of the same vocabulary, self-consciously situating the geopolitical and spatial shifts after the fall of the Wall as the latest along a historical trajectory of previous "new beginnings." 1990 is dubbed the zweite Grunderzeit, or "second founding time," in reference to the building boom following the country's first unification in 1871.369 The vast space left in the centre of the city from Potsdamer Platz to the Brandenburg Gate after the demolition of the Wall is coined a tabula rasa,310 calling up the use of the same term by such modernist architects as Mendelsohn and Le Corbusier in the 1920s, in their imaginings of a clean slate for 3 6 7 Koshar, 330. 368 Andreas Huyssen, Present Pasts, 145. 369 Francesca Rogier, "Growing Pains," 44. 3 7 0 See Andreas Papadakis; Francesca Rogier, "Growing Pains;" Alan Balfour, Berlin. 151 Berlin, and to the very real tabula rasa provided courtesy of the Allied air strikes during the later years of the Second World War. In the post-war discussions and designs for Berlin by architects in both East and West, too, the devastation wrought by the conflict was approached as an opportunity for complete renewal. Indeed the language of modernism demanded a clean slate, as architectural historian Alan Balfour states: For each the war was an appropriately dreadful event, yet for each it seems that the horror and degradation of its destruction represented a necessary catharsis, necessary to erase the past to make way for the modern world. The war had been an act of liberation. In these ravaged streets the dark jungle of the nineteenth century had been cleared to make way for the clean and rational garden of modernism.371 The city begins in 1990 from yet another Stunde Null ("Zero Hour"), allowing for another "resurrection from the ruins," as had been sung in the East German national anthem, this time the ruins of forty years of division and the ideological consequences of the Cold War. Curiously, however, few have reflected on the implications of invoking these repeated beginnings, as they are imagined or performed within the urban space of the city itself. Huyssen's hypothesis is that at its deepest level the German literary discourse of new beginnings from 1945 on can be read as a symptom of multi-layered traumatic experiences, which always leave something unresolved and in need of further articulation. The act of reconstructing, of frenetic rebuilding, the drive for beginning anew (in 1871, in 1945, in 1990) may serve, as writer W.G. Sebald suggests, in his post-humously published book The Natural History of Destruction, to prevent Germans from contemplating their past: 3 7 1 Alan Balfour, The Politics of Order, 168. 152 From the outset, the now legendary and in some respects genuinely admirable reconstruction of the country after the devastation wrought by Germany's wartime enemies, a reconstruction tantamount to a second liquidation in successive phases of the nation's own past history, prohibited any look backward. It did so through the sheer amount of labour required and the creation of a new, faceless reality, pointing the population exclusively towards the future and enjoining on it silence about the past.372 Perhaps the continuous desire to rebuild, to start again, to compulsively repeat the Stunde Null is in Berlin an expression of this avoidance. One might read the following passage, written in reference to the post-1945 re-construction, as a statement about the climate in the recently re-unified city. It was the act of clearing the rubble, of removing the past, that rekindled a sense of the future. The awareness that hands working in concert could literally m