De zolder van Duitsland
Dresden is suddenly becoming an open-air museum, and it’s all based on a denial of recent history. This denial is the result of three traumatic events: the bombing of 1944, the occupation by Russia followed by DDR regime, and the reunification of East and West Germany. It was denial that prompted this study. In response to Dresden’s urge to erase recent history, I produced a design for the restoration of a warehouse that had been destroyed in the firestorm, the Erlwein-Speicher. Speicher is a synonym in German for Dachboden, which means attic. The attic is the place where things are pushed aside, repressed, but it is also the place of memory. That which is repressed is not gone for good, and in principle it can be recovered. Dresden has become the symbol of collective German memory loss. This is why I have called my design for the Erlwein-Speicher the ‘Attic of Germany’. In my vision, this attic must restore that which was repressed to its place in the national memory. As the ‘Attic of Germany’, a repository or warehouse of contemporary art, the Erlwein-Speicher once again assumes a contemporary place in recent history and in the skyline of Dresden.