Gleis 17 / Track 17

Gleis 17 / Track 17

Edited by Nikolaus Hirsch, Wolfgang Lorch and Andrea Wandel

Distributed for Sternberg Press

Overview

Author(s)

Summary

“Crimes against humanity,” especially genocide, have been excluded from amnesty since the Nuremburg Trials. On a cultural level, oblivion by decree becomes an obligation to remember. This reversal is well-intended, but it opens up critical questions: Can memory be permanently established? Is it possible to maintain it in a monument?

The intervention at Track 17 at Berlin-Grunewald station, a work by architects Nikolaus Hirsch, Wolfgang Lorch, and Andrea Wandel on the site of the deportations from Berlin between 1941 and 1945, is an attempt that aims at a structural connection between memory and oblivion. Referring to Alois Riegl's (the founder of the “Modern Cult of Monuments”) differentiation between the specific, highly controlled documentary value, and the generic, always changing “age value,” the authors introduce a strategy that negotiates between stable and instable parameters: presumably permanent data, shifting vegetal successions, material durations and decay. This approach investigates whether it is possible to build ambivalence or even doubt into a monument. Thus, the uncertain status of the material memory becomes the focus of the intervention at Track 17.

The editors' work includes the Dresden Synagogue, the Hinzert Document Center, a high-rise building in the geopolitical hotspot of Tbilisi (Georgia), and the highly debated Archeological Zone / Jewish Museum in Cologne.

Photos by Gerald Domenig and Lukas Roth

Contributors Alfred Gottwaldt, Nikolaus Hirsch, Susanne Kill, Wolfgang Lorch, Jorge Otero-Pailos, Diana Schulle, Andrea Wandel, Harald Welzer

Paperback

$26.00 T ISBN: 9781933128603 216 pp. | 6.75 in x 9.5 in 10 color illus., numerous b&w illus.

Not for sale in Europe or the UK.

Editors

Nikolaus Hirsch

Nikolaus Hirsch is an architect, curator, editor, and educator. He is the director of CIVA in Brussels and was the Dean of Städelschule and Director of Portikus in Frankfurt. He is the author of the books On Boundaries (2007), Institution Building (2009), Cybermohalla Hub (2012), and co-editor of the Critical Spatial Practice series at Sternberg Press and co-founder of e-flux architecture.

Wolfgang Lorch

Andrea Wandel