vendredi 17 août 2007

Memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin

The 19,000 square-meter Memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe, which was opened to the public on May 12, 2005, consists of 2711 stones placed on sloping, uneven ground in an undulating wave-like pattern, in the heart of Berlin, just next to the Tiergarten.

What a place. You can get completely lost in this space, and become a bit scared of where you are or who you may run into. Flashes of skin and clothing appear and dissapear with a ghostlike quality. A powerful space; heavy, yet light and airy; where consistency is there, yet skewed. I was taken on an emotional and thoughtful ride, I'm not entirely sure where I went, however the journey was remarkable. I fully appreciate such spaces, where a visitor is moved into a different realm, yet each visitor's experience is totally different, and needs no explanation or anything further than just that. Well done, Mr. Eisenman. An interesting article on the cracks forming in the stones (in French)

Hannoversch Münden

Documenta, Kassel

Giant modern art show, once every 5 years in Kassel, Germany. For me, it was way out of scale, too huge, too much to see. An art overkill, for sure. I liked this first poppy flower field, however the different species were supposed to represent something, and I've forgotten. Many of the pieces in the various exhibits were in need of explanation, many things we as viewers were supposed to understand. How things are allusions to this or that, or how other objects represent some situation. I find this to be incredibly uninteresting, and sometimes completely ridiculous. For example, a red rope strung about was supposed to represent something to do with the struggle of women in Africa. First of all, how is this connection made without verbal explanation, and secondly, it is almost a travesty to represent something such as the incredible plight of women in Africa by a red rope strung about in an art gallery. I don't understand. Why is this here, why is it art? To me it lacks any form of pleasure or beauty. Beauty can be understood as aesthetically pleasing, but also if I feel moved in a way or if I am taken on a new path of thought, I find this to be beautiful. The path I followed over and over at Documenta was, "What the hell is that?" While this can be seen as an ignorant reaction, to me it is completely legitimate.

It was so good to see you guys again, I look forward to the next time we meet and eat together.

jeudi 5 juillet 2007

Brombeermarmelade. Jam.

Thanks Till & Judith

Route Industrienatur

Translation in Progress...

Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, day 2

Gießhalle, home of many concerts during the year. While I was there, it was closed off, so I didn't get to see where the stage was.

Piazza Metallica

Here, different species have settled in most likely a similar soil. It seems like landscape architects could learn from this, that these species could make up sort of a palette to draw from, when making up a planting plan. Or at least this could inform a designer in a useful way. These are the plants which require no maintenance whatsoever, and obviously have a range of colour, texture, etc.

Scuba centre, however it was closed during my visit. It's too bad, I have been wanting to make use of my scuba license.

Heaps of old material are quite prevalent at the site, and plants have taken up residence where they can. These places are in the first stages of succession, so only true pioneer species can live here. For example, blackberry bushes are often seen in places such as this.

The sewage canal could not remain as it existed on the site, and is now underground. A new canal has taken the place of the old, but now flows with fresh rainwater, it is kept as straight as it was before, not more 'naturally' shaped.

Duisburg was a wonderful place for me, it is a place that gives me some hope for landscape architecture. Peter Latz, the main landscape architect, allowed the polluted soils to remain in place and be remediated through phytoremediation, and sequestered soils with high toxicity in the existing bunkers. These are now places where succession is taking place. I really enjoyed my time here, and the berries.