Berlin, like many cities, is a palimpsest, which gets erased and re-inscribed, often violently, sometimes lovingly. The pavements, waterways, and spaces of Berlin continue to offer affordances, for memorials, for media-parks along the Spree, for Chancellors, for Liebeskinds, Norman Fosters, artists, travellers, and from time to time for Israeli comics.

Here are two uses of the re-invogorated Spree river.



The Jewish Museum

The Jewish Museum is a resonance chamber of affordances, each carefully constructed, as spaces, axes, and voids by Daniel Liebeskind. But it doesn't engage with the terrible affordances of:
  • Nation States - and Germans/Jews have much to tell about that ('beware what you wish for').
  • Modernism - no mention of Zygmunt Bauman's work.
  • Religious States - no engagement with the irony of the pogroms against Jews and Palestinians by religious states.
  • Cultural ghettos - undertow of the remarkable efforts by German Jews to assimilate at the turn of the 19th/20th Century, and the failure of the bravely secular ideals of the Weimar Republic, in Germany, and later on in the 'holy' land.
  • Fascism as secular religion, a Catholic/Pagan/Wagnerian mashup.
  • 'Deportation' of Jews and Palestinians from the Nation State of the day.
  • The 'civlization of power' in the 'legitimate' aspirations, 'berlin walls', and million dollar 'purchases' of non-Jewish homes in Jerusalem.

Are museums affordances for engaging with ironies and the way ironies penetrate walls (even Liebeskind's towering walls), or are they just 'enclosures' for certainties?

For example ....

Here are two examples of inscriptions that are, right now, being deleted from the walls of a building site in Mitte - central Berlin - but maybe they're 'just graffiti'?