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Berlin Junction – Eerie passage – Richard Serra (1938-) – (color v1-v2-v3) – ID: 179124 (all sizes)

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Berlin Junction
Eerie passage
Memorial for Third Reich victims of Aktion T4
1987, Richard Serra (1938-)

Berlin Junction
Eerie passage
Memorial for Third Reich victims of Aktion T4
1987, Richard Serra (1938-)
© Prosper Jerominus 2020

Available for printing in the  color versions: v1, v2, v3

Berlin Junction
Eerie passage
Memorial for Third Reich victims of Aktion T4
1987, Richard Serra (1938-)

Berlin Junction
Eerie passage
Memorial for Third Reich victims of Aktion T4
1987, Richard Serra (1938-)
© Prosper Jerominus 2020

 

Berlin Junction
Memorial to the victims of the Nazi T4 extermination program
at the site of the Berlin T4 headquarters

Richard Serra (1938-)

[…]

Two curved corten plates shape an eerie walkway.

One year after being unveiled in 1987, in front of the Martin-Gropius-Bau – an important museum in West Berlin, nearby Potsdamer Platz –, Berlin Junction was repositioned, after a suggestion of Richard Serra (1939-), its author, to a site nearby the Berlin Philharmonic – the iconic concert hall designed by architect Hans Scharoun, that opened its doors in 1963.
Its new position was very close to the former plot of a house long gone. The number 4 of Tiergartenstrasse was the address from where Third Reich officials planned the “euthanasia” campaign that killed thousands of people with mental illnesses and physical disabilities. The former headquarters of the Aktion T4 didn’t survive the heavy bombings of the Second World War. Its debris gave place to a traceless urban space featuring a bus stop, a traffic island and a wide sidewalk in front of the philharmonic main entrance.
Due to its proximity to such a historically sensitive location, Berlin Junction unintentionally acquired a memorial meaning a posteriori.

[…]

In order to answer to the critics – and to also create a space where one could pay homage and also get information about the past of the area – a bronze plaque was installed on the floor in 1989. Under the title “In honour of the forgotten victims”, the text inscribed refers to the event to remember, the profile of the 200.000 victims and the perpetrators (that included “scientists, doctors, nurses, policemen and law, health and work officials”) as well as the places of collection and extermination of those people. It finishes stating: “the number of victims is high. Low remains the number of convicted criminals.”
Even though the engraved text doesn’t specifically mention Serra’s sculpture, there is an implicit relationship between both in a material level. The dark tone of the bronze in which the three-meter sided square plaque is made of doesn’t leave much room for doubts that it is actually trying to integrate – justifying – the uncanny presence of Serra’s curves.
In a way, the silent minimalism of Berlin Junction and the discreet presence of the memorial plaque – often hidden under snow and leaves – would be responsible for a series of other memorials that eventually took place in this address: in 2007, an information panel was added to the shelter of the bus stop nearby and, from 2008 onwards, a vertical panel with documental graphical elements came to complement the available information, attracting greater attention to the spot.

[…]

the corten steel, due to its similarity with rusty iron, conveys feelings of resistance and temporality, hence exhibiting the aura of having witnessed history. Nevertheless the oxidation of the corten steel being the result of a chemical process performed artificially and in a short time, this material embodies suffering and objectifies pain.
Therefore, one can argue that there is an immediate dimension that allows one to correlate Berlin Junction with a solemn tribute, both in a spatial and in a material level. This fact justifies, in a way, the a posteriori allocation of a memorial meaning to the sculpture and its apparent suitability for the purpose. Despite the critical voices raised against its intention to commemorate by itself the victims of the Aktion T4, there doesn’t seem to have been the will to remove the sculpture from its place. The problem seemed to lie only in its self-absorbed offish minimalism.

[…]

Source: https://amidstinterpretation.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/berlin-junction/

Book:
Public Art and Urban Memorials in Berlin
By Biljana Arandelovic

 

 


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All Photo Printer Options available:

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A1: 841 x 594 mm – 84.1 x 59.4 cm (33.1 x 23.4 inches)

Paper A1: 841 x 594 mm - 84.1 x 59.4 cm - 33.1 x 23.4 inches

 

Printer Quality 2. 

A4, 240dpi


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Home / Office Printer (Reduced Price)

A4 Format (29,7 cm x 21 cm)


A4: 297 x 210 mm – 29.7 x 21 cm (11.7 x 8.3 inches)

Paper A4: 297 x 210 mm - 29.7 x 21 cm - 11.7 x 8.3 inches

 

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