The exhibition, devised by the architect Arno Brandlhuber with the designer Thomas Mayfried and the architect Florian Hertweck; takes its cue from a book published at the same time, The Dialogic City: Berlin wird Berlin, which addresses the dialogic potential in the city. The publication is divided into seven chapters, and these are echoed in the exhibition space together with commentary. Several thousand copies of the book are stacked along the wall, and visitors may take a copy free of charge upon request.
“The Dialogic City : Berlin Wird Berlin”
September 16, 2015 – March 21, 2016
Alte Jakobstraße 124-128,
Following the subject matter of the publications chapters, seven comments will be installed in the large exhibition room of the Berlinische Galerie. The presentation comprises about 500 models from the architectural collection; in its capacity as federal state museum for architecture, the gallery stores the documentation and models of Berlin building competitions.
Due to a lack of funds and manpower, only a small part of the material has been digitalized so far. The exhibition addresses this problem by entering the models that are transported from the depot to the exhibition room into the museum database in the presence of visitors. On the one hand, the models help to imagine an alternative Berlin, which may be reconstructed on the basis of the competition entries; on the other, they illustrate a history of ideas that continues also in its unimplemented form and which may be used as a source of inspiration for present-day debates about the city.
Brandlhuber has always clearly stated his opposition to Berlin’s “critical reconstruction” – the structural densification of the inner-city focusing on historical guidelines. The collection’s extensive architecture archive forms the material for his exhibition, which not only includes plans and models but also approximately 80,000 photographs. In particular the archive contains an overwhelmingly large amount of material from the years of extensive construction after the reunification. It is precisely this time period that Brandlhuber focuses upon in his intervention. He has devised an installation that spans from the traces of wartime destruction in Berlin to the standardised new buildings of the Berlin Republic and questions the future of urban space. An event program is also part of the exhibition concept, developed together with other experts in the field.
THE SEVEN CHAPTERS
The first chapter – Centres and Mitte – is reflected in the exhibition by a bronze cast of the city’s geographical centre, wich is not far from the museum. The bronze is at the back of the exhibition space.
The commentary on the second chapter – City & Nature – will evolve during the exhibition as a selection is put together from about 500 architect’s models in the collection.
The chapter Fiction & Reality picks up this theme as the models brought over from the depot to the exhibition venue are entered in the museum’s database before the visitor’s eyes. This will reveal a key aspect to the museum’s work, and one that is normally hidden from public view.
Heinz Emigholz’s film Berlin Stories (1986– 2012) provides a commentary on the chapter Public Image & Inner Workings.
The film Berlin Berlin (2010–2015) by Christian von Borries provides context for the chapter Community & Individuality.
Sunday Dialogues will be held every week until 8 November 2015, where authors of the book will join key figures shaping the city to initiate discussion and tackle issues of Participation & Governance.
The final chapter Land & Property will find expression at the exhibition in a little reference library devoted to land law.
STADT/BILD (Image of a City) is a collaboration of Berlinische Galerie, Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Initiated and funded by the Berlin Senate, the joint project also marks the kickoff of Berlin Art Week 2015.