So happy to participate in 48 Stünden (48 Hours) Neukölln this year. The theme was Schatten (Shadow) and I was in a group exhibition with seven other artists, six of them also from the Frauenmuseum Berlin. For the first time, I framed one of my largest drawings. I chose Plattenbau Romantik, (226 x 168 framed) a graphite on paper drawing I completed in March.
A pastiche of the Plattenbau buildings in Berlin, Plattenbau Romantik is an exploration of the closest thing in Berlin to mountains, the behemoth housing estates that exist in and on the exterior of the city. The concrete slab construction buildings enjoyed a boom period post WWII, when there was a housing crisis in Berlin. With modern amenities and previously unavailable things like private bathrooms and elevators, they symbolized the perfect marriage of progression and modernism. Years later, I walk among these man made mountains, and think about the thousands of lives in each window that this building contains. Did it work, where architects able to reverse engineer a community? The Großwohnsiedlungen are designed to house everything, from day care centers to doctors’ offices to grocery stores. What happens when a single person or persons in the form of architects dictate the development of a community?
My favorite reaction to the piece is several people were convinced they depicted apartment blocks in places like Colombia or Korea. The anonymity and scale of apartment blocks is universal.