Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wall street

It sure looks like a Serra. A long corten steel wall with people trailing their hands along its rough rusted surface. Sure it wasn’t on a lean, but not all Serra’s tilt. And it was massive, that’s on brand for a Serra. But what about the goon tower poking over the top? In fact this is the Berlin Wall Memorial, a national testament to the people who died trying to escape East Germany. Maybe Serra had some input but we can’t find any mention of it (the architects responsible are Kohlhoff & Kohlhoff).

It's not such a random assumption as Serra's work can be seen in a number of places in the city. There's Berlin Block for Charlie Chaplin and Berlin Junction and he was also closely involved (although withdrew before the project was completed) with architect Peter Eisenman on the famous arrangement of concrete blocks that make up the Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe down by the Brandenburg Gate.

And, even if Serra was not have involved in this latest memorial, it certainly stands as a testament to how powerful his sculptural ideas have become as markers of scale and moment.