Research : Movement and tonality of the void spaces – 14. July
From the list of the memorials and museums of the culture of remembrance in Berlin written in the book ‘Orte erinnern (Places remember )’ by Johannes Heesch and Ulrile Braun, I picked up the places I already went.
– Denkmal zur Erinnerung an die Bücherverbrennung
– Die Bernhard Lichtenberg Kapelle in der St.-Hedwigs Kathedrale
– Neue Wache
– Museum Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt
– Sammellager Großer Hamburger Straße
– Der verlassene Raum
– The Missing House
– Neue Synagoge
– Gedenkstätte Plätzensee
– Bahnhof Grünewald, Gleis 17
– Jüdisches Museum Berlin
As a Japanese, moving to Berlin I have quite surprised by the huge amount of the memorials and objects in town which are commemorate the Holocaust in the time of the Nazi-Germany. If I weren’t in Berlin, I had’t had so much attention over the history of WWII.
My studio is located in the historic district Spandauer Vorstadt / Spandauer Quarter, the neighborhood carry many histories of Berliner Jews.
One day as I walked around my studio I took some photo of few memorials. All those places are no more than 800m away from my studio. As I started my master study at HZT Berlin, I first time realized how all those places became a part of my daily life.
– Große Hamburger Straße –
You’ll see the golden dome of the Synagogue.
The Missing House
Memorial for the collection point and the Jewish old cemetery.
The Sophien Church and the traces of bullets.
I never knew before, there were another Synagogue in Auguststraße 10.
Memorial, The abandoned room at the Koppemplatz
You can see how the table and chair made in a slightly bigger scale.
Research : Movement and tonality of the void spaces : 8.July
The sun light illuminate the empty spaces in vain.
A sense of calmness and a little relief, that no one there anymore.
Although no one was there anymore, I felt a pressure and fear, that made me hesitate to enter.
Overwhelmingly powerful fact, that there is nothing, no body in the place anymore.
I just kept walking there for hours.
The only person at the information center on the day told me that it was 20 times bigger.
When I said that I’m Japanese, he said “I’m glad you could experience this place”
Denkmal | Memorial
Research : Movement and tonality of the void spaces – 21. June
In June, the Gallery Neurotitan in Haus Schwarzenberg kindly allowed to enter into the empty gallery.
It was quiet, but as I spent more time alone, I recognized many different sounds in- and around the empty room.
空間を聴く - listen to the space
– keep open your eyes and listen to the space
– what kind of sound you hear?
– where the sound comes from?
– can you recognize where the sound comes from?
– can you see the things produce the sound?
– can you measure the distance of the object(s) create the sound?
空間を見る - observe the space
– observe the light and shade in the space
– is the shadows have color?
空っぽの空間と私 I in the empty/void space
– Q : are you a part of the void?
Then I started voicing in the space, listened to the resonance.
Research : Movement and tonality of the void spaces – 14. June
Anne Frank (Anneliese Marie Frank)
12.June 1929 Frankfurt am Main – † early 1945 KZ Bergen-Belsen
The Anne Frank Center Berlin is a partner organisation of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. The center commemorates the German Jewish family’s story with the exhibition and offering various educational programs all year around.
The center is located in the Haus Schwarzenberg, where I have my studio.
On the wall of the staircase there are Anne Frank’s smiling photos posted chronologically and I used to hear the audio book on the staircase.
So over years I became feeling very familiar with the world famous author.
Few years ago, I got to know that Anne Frank born in the same year with the actress Audrey Hepburn, and it was the same year with my father.
Anne Frank went to the hide-out at 1942 in her age of 13 and lost her life at 15. My father born in Kyoto in September 1929, had three children and left the earth in 2007. Associate her to my father through the year they born, led me think of her life she might have had if there wasn’t ever the Holocaust.
This 12.June 2021 would be her 92th Birthday and I went to the center.
When I first heard about Anne Frank’s diary I was young, it was heartbreaking to imagine that she eventually lost her life right after her sister Margot’s death, yet it wasn’t realistic for me because her appearance was quite different with us Asian.
Listening and reading through the photos and interviews this time however, I found myself seeing the story not from Anne’s side, but rather her parents’ side, and I felt more sympathy because she and her family just looked as same as my friends and their family here in Berlin.
The father Otto, who lost his wife and two daughters, hoped that the diary would be universally acknowledged across times and races, rather than being treated as a war literature or story of a Jew.
Het Achterhuis (The Annex), the original first edition published in 1947.
Visiting a place is a subjective experience – in other words, an experience that feels differently depending on the person- that goes through its physical and sensory qualities.
Whether creating sound or movement, the process of transferring a personal experience into an artistic expression I recognize my own sight while find a new perspective towards the object.
In 2018, supported by the Heinrich Böll Foundation I had an artistic research about the hide-out of The museum Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind . The small, windowless dark room of the museum was my first encounter with the Erinnerungskultur, the Culture of Remembrance.
The theater director Boris von Poser as my research mentor, I’ll visit the following three memorials and further sites of the Culture of Remembrance. I’ll collect the stories of the lives of the survived people and their families today, create movement and vocal sketches.
Receiving mentorship from Boris von Poser mean to me not only about getting practical information and suggestions, but I think it is also about getting ethical guidance for my research.
Intended place to visit
– The concentration camp memorial Auschwitz-Birkenau (PL)
– The Herzogenbusch Concentration Camp (NL)
– Terezín Memorial (CZ) – changed to ↓
– The memorial and museum Sachsenhausen
– – The memorial Bergen-Belsen
* The plan has been changed due to the current pandemic situation and the effect of the performance and project schedules postponed from 2020.
The purpose of this research is collecting the information related to the Erinnerungskulture / the Culture of Remembrance, visiting the historic sites and investigate the roll of void/emptiness in the spaces, to prepare for my future project.
The silence of those void spaces gives us the space to imagine a time we haven’t experienced, and consider the time in which we live.
And in this research I hope to find my way to listen to the spaces.
updated on 25.August.