Friday, October 18, 2013

PLACES | holocaust memorial


The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Bruro Happold.

"According to Eisenman's project text, the stelae are designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason. A 2005 copy of the Foundation for the Memorial's official English tourist pamphlet, however, states that the design represents a radical approach to the traditional concept of a memorial, partly because Eisenman did not use any symbolism. However, observers have noted the memorial's resemblance to a cemetery" (via Wiki)

The Jewish Memorial site is one of my favorite landmarks I've visited throughout this trip. I remember seeing it from afar when passing through on the bus. Initially, it didn't seem very impressive and even looked rather plain, but I soon learned that it is an entirely different experience to observe the memorial up close. As an installation it is completely fascinating. First, the memorial is enormous as it takes up about one city block. It is also designed in a grid pattern, but on a slopped hill so everything was aligned, yet uneven. That being said, I found walking through the memorial an incredibly moving and thought provoking experience; I couldn't help but feel claustrophobic and isolated as I weaved my way through the aisles--one second I'm running into a group of snap-happy tourists but then I turn a corner and I'm completely alone again.

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