RIESENRAD

Riesenrad is a series about history and stories, symbolic and ordinary, memory and memories.

A hazy mist protects the sleeping place, the amusement park Plänterwald in Berlin.
Slowly but ruthlessly it is devoured by an overwhelming nature which dominates this Romantic, melancholic, yet prehistoric atmosphere. The park is a place of memory, where the only noise is the one of time passing.
The theme park was seized for debts (his owner fleeing the country) and stuck for years with its dropped dinosaurs, confined behind an iron gate by restless guardians; its future vague, the present apparently quite and suffering from a past of doubtful management of the site and nostalgia of the lost laughs on the merry-go-round.

The discussion about the future of the Palast der Republik (a cultural and political important building of the GDR) started more or less 20 years ago, with the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
After 3 years slow dismantling started according to the decision in 2005, time has accelerated for the building’s destiny: in the city of architectural frenzy, the Palast is pulverized by a vital, joyful energy, closer to destruction than to (de)construction.
It has lost the battle opposing different histories: its walls made of asbestos has been dismantled to rebuild a quasi-copy of the pre-existing, 15th century prussian style castle, who in turn had been destroyed in the 50s according to the will of the former GDR chiefs. The “new” castle will be an empty container, a façade with modern walls.

While repeatedly alluding to the Wheel as a symbol for Memory and Time (since the work’s title itself), this project might well be about the linearisation of conflicts and the processes of shared cultural interpretation and obliteration.
All time layers are flattened, all memories seem coexisting but one past is reconstructed which fulfils present needs: though, as Heraclitus wrote, no one steps twice into the same river.

Riesenrad is a series comparing story and histories, ordinary and symbolic, memories and memory.


 

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