A slightly ironic title, as the opening of this temporary building has been an extended affair: the ground breaking ceremony, the opening of the outside of the building (yes, the logic defeats me too) and finally, last night, the opening of the inside of the building, with the first part of Candice Breitz‘ video installations.
The mayor was there at the ground breaking and at last night’s bash – I don’t know if he was at the ‘opening of the outside’ as I didn’t go (I wasn’t sure how you could open just the outside of a building). Anyway, that’s my last mention of the mayor, as he hardly needs my single grain of publicity on his expansive media beach.
Well worth a trip though. You can’t miss it – it’s the enormous blue and white thing near the Berliner Dom, pictured below, the building itself designed by Adolf Krischanitz.
I’m a bit of a fan of Breitz as well. Of her initial three pieces here, Working Class Hero is the best (in my view), featuring twenty-five larger-than-life-size faces singing along in unison to unheard (by us) John Lennon album. There’s often a gap, presumably for an instrumental part of the song – the momentary silence and the wait for them to sing again is oddly unsettling. The other ones follow the same idea; Queen (Madonna) and King (yep, Michael Jackson).
Worth a visit to that whole area in fact – the huge demolition site of the former Palast der Republik (across the road from the Berliner Dom on Unter den Linden). It’s maybe not a place you’d go regularly if you live in Berlin, as it’s something of a tourist ground zero. But the day-by-day disappearance of the Palast, with only a shrinking number of its vast concrete stair towers remaining (as at yesterday), is a fascinating site.
Image courtesy of IsarSteve – I love the way the shadow of the Fernseturm falls on the Park Inn hotel. (I say ‘courtesy’ – I haven’t actually asked him, but I’m hoping he won’t mind.) A view that will eventually be obscured by the construction of the Humboldt Forum (I refuse to use the term ‘reconstruction of the Schloss).
The Temporäre Kunsthalle, by the way, has a surprisingly good architecture section in its bookshop. I pored over it for a while, until the assistant started glaring at me due to the way I was balancing a glass of wine precariously close to a weighty tome about O M Ungers.
See earlier post on the Kunsthalle, which includes my rant about the planned Humboldt Forum.