Now that my project is finished, I am taking the next two weeks to travel around Europe. First stop, Berlin, for the Berlin Biennale and Gallery Week.
Yesterday, before all of the art festivities began, I did some sight seeing. I have never been to Berlin before, and there was one place I just had to see, the Jewish Museum.
I had seen pictures of the Jewish Museum, and Daniel Libeskind’s New Building before. Like the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, every angle of Libeskind’s structure is a perfect view and an interesting photo. However, nothing prepared me for how I would feel going through and around the structure.
(I would love to post pictures, but WordPress is not uploading pictures for some reason, so I will have to add them later, but do go to the museum’s website, http://www.jmberlin.de/main/EN/homepage-EN.php, or Google Jewish Museum, Berlin and look at the building and read about its contents.)
Libeskind designed the museum to make you physically feel in a certain way while you walked around its many levels and hallways. It is very effective. For example, the slightly nauseous feeling you get while walking around the Garden of Exile, or feeling of absolute abandonment in the Holocaust Tower. The Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman’s steel sculpture “Shalechet” (Fallen Leaves) adds to this idea very effectively by covering the entire floor of one of the five Voids with steel “faces” that the visitor walks on making a clanking sound. The feeling of walking on “faces” combined with the sound, is an indescribable feeling. Some visitors could not participate.
In one of the display cases I found my bridge from Amsterdam to Berlin. There was a story about a young man who’s father hid him in a brothel to keep him safe from the Nazis. I found this story especially poignant and it was a very personal way for me to connect to this museum. Peace.