After being overwhelmed by the impressive collection of the Pergamon Museum, we visited today the Kulturforum at the Potsdammer Strasse. The square in front of the Kulturforum resembles a marmored hillslope with a few square granite blocks to mark off the outside edges. The inside of the entry is very conveniently arranged, but despite the easy division in the Gemaldegalerie to the left, the Kupferstichkabinett straight in front of the entrance and the Gewerbemuseum to the left, your first impression is that you are lost, that you must have entered the rear entrance to an office building. The entrances to the three musea are hidden in the corners, no draw effect on the visitor occurs.
We first visit the Ernst Ludwig Kirchner exhibition in the Kupferstichkabinett. The exhibit contains an overview of sketches, drawings and woodcuts. Kircher’s drawings or rather sketches are inspiring, they radiate a certain playfulness and joy with which the artist observes the model, event or scenery. But his woodcuts quickly become schizofrenic by the nature of the technique alone, emphasized by the black and white color scheme.
Italian Paintings of the 13th to 16th century: Giotto, Raffael, Martini, Botticelli, Tizian, Masaccio
St. Sebastian. 1474, Botticelli
Madonna and Child with Eight Angels (Tondo Raczynski). c.1478, Botticelli
Virgin and Child Enthroned between Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist (Bardi altarpiece). 1484. Tempera on panel., Botticelli
The Death of the Virgin. c.1310. Tempera on panel., Giotto
The Entombment. c. 1315 (or later). Part of the Orsini Polyptych. Tempera on wood, Simone Martini
Architektonische Vedute, um 1490/1500, Franceso di Giorgio Martini
European paintings of the 13th to 18th century: Botticelli
German Paintings of the 13th to 16th century: Dürer, Hollbein, Cranach the Younger and Cranach the Elder
The waiting time for the line in front of the Neue Nationalgalerie for the MoMA exhibition seems well over an hour, and I certainly don’t feel like standing in line for anything in life (if not absolutely necessary).
On our way to the Reichstag we cut through the Tiergarten, and stop at the Monument for the Sowiet Soldiers who liberated Berlin. The pilar on which the Russian Soldier stands in the middle of the monument was constructed of the marmor of the Reichschancelor House of Adolf Hitler. The two tanks that flank the arms of the monument are said to have been the first two tanks to enter into Berlin. ON the left one a large number 200 is painted, the left is number 300. It sounds too perfect to be true, so true that it must be the absolute historical Soviet truth. The monument is nevertheless as justifiable as it is impressive. The historical truth is often shaped after the true facts have been reconstructed in what’s admissable for our memory. My memorable sense of estethicism is affected by the idea of the immense sacrifice Stalin ordered the Russian people to make at his command.
We walk around the monument and pass the new Reichschancellor building on our left, a beautiful example of post-modern arhcitecture that more and more tries to get out of the grip of modernism without being able to leave behind its premisses.
The waiting time for the Reichstag and the Reichtag’s Dome is even almost two hours, and this seems just absolutely ridiculous, I pass by on this attraction.
The estrangement of the city, the urban environment that refuses to let me root, it is this absence of social commitment which is mirroring my deepest yearning, this asceticism of the anima, which in the spiritual context needs the religious or symbolic representation in the father, the holy spirit or other intermediates, finds in the city the material representation. If I live in Amsterdam, New York or Berlin, the different localities do not more than to prove the cultural irrelevance of the urban context, but it is the structure of the city itself, the concrete, the brick, the plaster, the repetition and anonimity, the endless faces that belong to no one. The forgetfulness of the city is deeply engrained in my being.