Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Great work. Two examples.

Our hotel in Berlin, the former Deutsches Bank building, sits on a plot, or plotz on a site, called Bebelplatz.

On two sides of Bebelplatz sit giant buildings of Humboldt University. On a third side, is the under-renovation Oper Haus, on the final side is the block of buildings that includes our own.

Off near the Opera House is this memorial, to the great Nazi book burning of 1933, when 20,000 books were incinerated, including books by Heinrich Mann, Erich Maria Remarque, Karl Marx and Albert Einstein. 

Near the site of that conflagration is this memorial. A deep hole in the plaza covered with thick glass. Down below, austere and hermetically sealed are stark white bookshelves--enough room to hold 20,000 books, all empty.

Later in in the day we traveled in the rain, in a Mercedes to the Daniel Liebskind-designed Jewish Museum.

There is there is an oblong-shaped room with a floor covered with steel faces in adult, teenage, and kid sizes. The semiotics of the display force you to walk across them. I was unable to do so. 

Step on the living. Walk over the dead.

I guess there's a point here. About going beyond words--to communications that involve you, body and soul. 

Either one of the aforementioned is great, thoughtful work--work that happens, in any discipline, all too rarely.


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