August 14, 2011, I realized an art installation in Berlin, RED OBJECT II. It was placed on the foundations of the 20th century “Palace of the Republic”, the18th century Berliner Stadtschloss, and the earlier site of the15th century fort, near what is named “Schlossplatz” today. The project, “RED OBJECT II” was produced with original red flags of the East German state, residues of a society, which existed during 40 years prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The national flags were given to me by workers, who were emptying the former GDR Parliament building and “People's Chamber” in the early nineties.
Here is where the East German “Volkskammer” decided about the treaty of the German reunification. The parliament of the unified Germany voted to demolish the building in 1993 amidst much controversy from both East and West. This site is at the historic center of Berlin, where the Prussian kings built a palace, which was damaged in World War II, and torn down by pro-Soviet promoters in 1950. Today, this is the future site of a contemporary project - to rebuild the Schloss (palace) façade combined with a modern interior to be named “Humboldtforum.”
The debate about re-building a replica of an 18th century palace in the 21st century continues…
The artwork refers to interconnections of the past in constructing the present, a historic site in the procedure of re-formation, and contemporary social processes shaping a place at the heart of a capital … a between-space of yesterday and tomorrow.
John S. Powers Ph.D.