Advertisement

Memory Landscapes and the Labor of the Negative in Berlin

  • Jonathan Bach
Article

Abstract

Focusing on the case of Berlin, this article explores the function of memory landscapes using the concept of the labor of the negative. Through three Berlin cases—the memorialization of the Berlin Wall, recent counter-memorials to the Holocaust, and the urban appropriation of voids through temporary projects—the article suggests that the labor of the negative constitutes Berlin’s memory landscape out of the interplay between absence and presence.

Keywords

Berlin Memory Urban space Berlin Wall Holocaust Void Negative space 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This article stems from a collaborative project on “Collective Memory and the Transformation of Urban Space” supported by the Czech Science Foundation. The author wishes to thank Ben Nienass, Lindsey Freeman and Yukiko Koga for their comments and encouragement.

References

  1. Aitchison, M (2011). The Berlin Model BM-00. Tarp architecture manual (Insidious Urbanism) (pp. 97–111).Google Scholar
  2. Arnold-de Simine, S. (2012). Memory museum and museum text: intermediality in Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish museum and W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz. Theory, Culture & Society, 29(1), 14–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bader, M., et al. (2011). IBA Berlin 2020 Konzept: Stadt Kapital! Hauptstadt, Raumstadt, Sofortstadt. Berlin: Senatsverwaltung fuer Stadtentwicklung.Google Scholar
  4. Beekmans, J. (2009). Klaus Overmeyer on the importance of urban pioneers. The pop up city. http://popupcity.net. Accessed 22 April 2012.
  5. Borneman, J. (1998). Subversions of international order: Studies in the political anthropology of culture. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  6. Caruth, C. (1996). Unclaimed experience: Trauma, narrative, and history. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Caspar, H. (2008). Erinnerungsorte in Berlin: Führer zu Schauplätzen deutscher Geschichte. Petersberg: Imhof.Google Scholar
  8. Chakravorty, M. (2004). Hegel-Marx: the “other” logic of unproductive labor. Bad Subjects (p. 66).Google Scholar
  9. Colomb, C. (2012). Staging the New Berlin: Place marketing and the politics of urban reinvention post-1989. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Eisenman, P. (2005). Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. New York: Leo Baeck Institute.Google Scholar
  11. Engel, J. A. (2009). The fall of the Berlin Wall: The revolutionary legacy Of 1989. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Fassin, D., & Rechtman, R. (2009). The empire of trauma: An inquiry into the condition of victimhood. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Flierl, T. (2006). Gesamtkonzept zur Errinerung an der Berliner Mauer. Berlin: Berlin Senate. Retrieved from http://www.berlin.de/sen/kultur/kulturpolitik/mauer/gesamtkonzept.html.Google Scholar
  14. Fulbrook, M. (2009). Historical tourism: Reading Berlin’s doubly dictatorial past. In U. Staiger, H. Steiner, & A. Webber (Eds.), Memory culture and the contemporary city (pp. 126–144). New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  15. Hegel, G. F. W. (2005). Hegel’s preface to the phenomenology of spirit, translation and running commentary by Yirmiyahu Yovel, Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Hornstein, S. (2011). Losing site: Architecture, memory and place. Burlington: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  17. Huyssen, A. (2003). Present pasts: Urban palimpsests and the politics of memory. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Jarausch, K. H. (2008). Memory wars: German debates about the legacy of dictatorship. In J. A. Williams (Ed.), Berlin since wall’s end: Shaping society and memory in the German metropolis since 1989 (pp. 90–109). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars.Google Scholar
  19. Jordan, J. A. (2006). Structures of memory: Understanding urban change in Berlin and beyond. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Judt, T. (2005). Postwar: A history of Europe since 1945. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  21. Koga, Y. (2013). Accounting for silence: Inheritance, debt, and the moral economy of legal redress in China and Japan.Google Scholar
  22. Kovach, T. A., & Walser, M. (2008). The burden of the past: Martin Walser on modern German identity: Texts, contexts, commentary. Rochester: Camden House.Google Scholar
  23. Ladd, B. (1997). The ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German history in the urban landscape. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Molnar, V. (2010). The cultural production of locality: reclaiming the ‘European City’ in post-wall Berlin. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 3(2), 281–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nora, P. (2001). Rethinking France. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Les lieux de mémoire.Google Scholar
  26. Novak, J. M., Beutelschmidt, T., & Hoppe, J. (2006). Palast-Parcours—Abriss der Geschichte. In A. Deuflhard & S. Krempl-Klieeisen (Eds.), Volkspalast. Zwischen Aktivismus und Kunst (pp. 27–30). Berlin: Theater der Zeit.Google Scholar
  27. Novy, J., & Colomb, C. (2012). Struggling for the right to the (creative) city in Berlin and Hamburg: new urban social movements, new ‘spaces of hope’? International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01115.x.
  28. Schivelbusch, W. (1998). In a cold crater: Cultural and intellectual life in Berlin, 1945–1948. Berkeley: University of California Press (K. Barry, Trans.).Google Scholar
  29. Schneider, B., & Libeskind, D. (1999). Daniel Libeskind: Jewish Museum Berlin: Between the lines. Munich: Prestel.Google Scholar
  30. Stadtentwicklung, S. F. (2007). Urban pioneers: Berlin: Stadtentwicklung durch Zwischennutzung. Berlin: Jovis.Google Scholar
  31. Stevens, Q. (2011). Behind the wall, the beach. Tarp architecture manual (pp. 110–111).Google Scholar
  32. Taussig, M. (1999). Defacement: Public secrecy and the labor of the negative. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Till, K. E. (2005). The new Berlin: Memory, politics, place. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  34. Tölle, A. (2010). Urban identity policies in Berlin: from critical reconstruction to reconstructing the Wall. Cities, 27(5), 348–357. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2010.04.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Trigg, D. (2009). The place of trauma: memory, hauntings, and the temporality of ruins. Memory Studies, 2(1), 87–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tumarkin, M. M. (2005). Traumascapes: The power and fate of places transformed by tragedy. Carlton: Melbourne University Publishing.Google Scholar
  37. Urban Pioneers. (2011). Retrieved from http://urbantick.blogspot.com/2011/11/book-urban-pioneers.html. Accessed 22 April 2012.
  38. Walser, M (2008). Experiences while composing a sunday speech: The peace prize speech. In T. A. Kovach & M. Walser (Eds.), The burden of the past: Martin Walser on modern German identity: Texts, contexts, commentary (pp. 59–74). Rochester: Camden House.Google Scholar
  39. Ward, J. (2011). Post-Wall Berlin: Borders, space and identity. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  40. Young, J. E. (1993). The texture of memory: Holocaust memorials and meaning. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Young, J. E. (2000). At memory’s edge: After-images of the Holocaust in contemporary art and architecture. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global Studies ProgramThe New SchoolNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations