studio 2010/11

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Site Selection

During the first week of our trip, we ended up traveling all over Berlin and looking for sites in Kreuzberg, but nothing really sung to me in terms of my project.  I was looking for a site that somehow related both to Moholy-Nagy and to the machine that I had created, and until Saturday, I hadn’t really had any luck.  There was one site that was at least intriguing, but something told me I would have to look elsewhere.

On our trip to the Bauhaus, I bought a book about Moholy-Nagy, called Moholy-Nagy: The Photograms. The book has amazing reproductions of Nagy’s photograms, as well as some really interesting and enlightening essays about Moholy-Nagy, but most importantly, at the back of the book was a reference list of all of Moholy-Nagy’s residences since 1921.  Once I found this, I wrote them down and decided to do a little bit of touring on Sunday.

Coincidentally, the first residence I found was actually close to where I had been the day before, but this time I actually meant to go there.  Just one block North of Kurfurstenstrasse is Lutzowstrasse, the street where Moholy-Nagy first lived in Berlin after he came from Hungary to be an artist there.  I located what I thought was his apartment building, but what I didn’t know was that his apartment building had been blown up during the second world war.  What was even more interesting, though, was what I found  near his old apartment, which is what’s called “Der Pumpe”.

Looking at the Pump near the park.

At first, I thought Der Pumpe was the park located near this particular pump.  What I found out later is that “Alte Pumpe” is actually a restaurant.  The pump itself is part of the “Radial VII” system that Berlin completed in 1883.  The pumps are used to pump wastewater from the city and the surrounding suburbs uphill and away from the city.  The site was an integral part of Berlin’s infrastructure before the war, and its proximity to Gleisdreick, as well as to the headquarters of the SS, made it a good target for the bombing raids carried out by the RAF during the war.  In my research, I was able to pinpoint the date when this site was bombed, and it turns out that on November 23rd, 1943, this site was the target of Britain’s first ever successful bombing, which devastated Berlin’s infrastructure and my eventual site.  The building that is currently located at the address of 76 Lutzowstrasse is now a Bergman and Franz, but now that I know some of the history of the site, I feel like it’s a pretty good place to start my exploration.

Moholy-Nagy's old place, but not really.

Der Pumpe

The Park

Category: Studio work

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