Subway Wehrhahnlinie Düsseldorf

design models

Heike Klussmann, netzwerkarchitekten: continuum & cut, design models for six new metro stations Wehrhahnlinie Düsseldorf

2010 , sculpture ,
65, heikeklussmann, bruel

She was here at a good time and she had a good time when she was here

Friedrichsbau Bühl

She was here at a good time and she had a good time when she was here at the Friedrichsbau in Bühl.
Original facade sections from the twelfth and thirteenth stories of the Haus des Lehrers (Alexanderplatz, Berlin), one piece of floor, one piece of ceiling, vertical video projection.
 Villa,  Aurora,  Los Angeles

Villa Aurora

Los Angeles

Heike Klussmann is showing her work at Villa Aurora, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles
berlin, alexanderplatz, kaufhof, centrumwarenhaus, heikeklussmann
berlin, alexanderplatz, kaufhof, centrumwarenhaus, heikeklussmann
 Berlin Alexanderplatz,  Kaufhof Reverse,  Heike Klussmann,  Alex
 Berlin Alexanderplatz,  Kaufhof Reverse,  Heike Klussmann,  Haus Des Lehrers

Berlin Alexanderplatz Kaufhof Reverse


Photographic and film montage consisting of 4,084 small-format photographs, each taken through one of the holes in the “honeycomb” facade of the former Centrum Warenhaus, from the inside looking out. Reassembled into four facade panels, each 160 x 560 cm, and a 16-mm film, 2:43 min. + 7 frames, loop.

Friedrichsbau Bühl

She was here at a good time and she had a good time when she was here

The installation She was here at a good time and she had a good time when she was here, at the Friedrichsbau in Bühl, makes use of fragments of a now historical structure: windowpanes from the Haus des Lehrers on Berlin’s Alexanderplatz. The installation uses original components from the building’s upper stories to reconstruct facade, floor and ceiling. These are rotated ninety degrees within the space, turning the windows into a horizontal surface that precisely reproduces the rhythm of the panes in their various sizes and colors. Two videos are projected onto the panes, passing through them and reflecting on the glass. One camera, mounted on the tip of a demolition excavator, captures whirling images of crumbling walls, tumbling and bouncing chunks of masonry—the slow disintegration of a building. The rotating camera angle erases the precise distinction between up and down, a distinction that has already vanished in the exhibition space reflected in the windowpanes. The second video projection shows the intent face of the excavator operator as he both observes and controls the machine doing the demolition, his gaze mirroring the building’s destruction.

Andrási Gábor

about Monochrome City

I started coming down with a fever in the airplane; I have no memory of Schönefeld Airport. My arm was sore from a tetanus shot. The next day it was so swollen that I couldn’t get my fencing jacket on. So the match was off. I stayed in my hotel on the Alex and wrapped myself in all the blankets. I lay there in a daze, half-asleep. It was winter, the sun having somehow never risen at all, the sky silver-gray and empty as it always is in Berlin. I closed the curtains and tried to sleep in that tiny cell. On the wall above my head, faint but recognizable, there appeared the image of the building across the street. It was a detail of the gridded facade, severely distorted. Dust motes danced in the clear ray of light that fell through the slit between the curtains.
These memories surfaced from the camera obscura of the past, brought back by Heike’s exhibition. I haven’t thought of them in thirty years. I think it was 1976, and nothing interested me less than the image on the wall. The others were at the match. I wanted to get better. The light played over the blanket. I let the slit and the picture fade away. Back then, I had no idea what a camera obscura was, or that the building across the street was called the Haus des Lehrers.
We often traveled to East Germany to compete. Strange and funny things happened to us, and some not so funny, as in the great Hungarian poet István Örkény’s mini-novella “Ahasuerus”: “Two Jews are walking down the street. The first Jew asks the second a question. The second Jew answers him. The two Jews continue walking. The first Jew, who in the meantime has thought of another question, asks it. The second Jew answers him. Sometimes this amuses them. Sometimes it does not. And so the two Jews continue walking. They also continue talking. Life, as you can see, is not always a bowl of cherries.”
The processing of the past—a horrible expression, but that’s what it’s called, “processing”—presents similar opportunities. Satire strikes me less and less as the best form of processing, and I find the opposite extreme, nostalgia, to be equally inappropriate. A mixture of personal dismay and a grim objectivity might do. That’s what Heike Klussmann is experimenting with. In her studio on the top floor of the former Haus des Lehrers on the Alexanderplatz, she has set up her camera obscura and taken pictures of the surrounding panorama. The images of the monochrome city, the interior of the building, and the exterior elements exhibit an eerie similarity, a structural equivalence, so to speak. But the shabby rooms (good for nothing now but studio spaces), the gutted neon fixtures, the plasterboard ceilings and lunar landscape outside, the unmistakable shapes of (ex-) socialist modernist architecture, are not just a historical memento mori, but also a memorial to the former East Berlin, capital of East Germany. Not a monument to an institutionalized communal memory, of course, but a personal element in the process of the self-analyzing relationship that connects today’s Berliners to the recent past.
Erecting a personal memorial is, in fact, the only alternative when the neophytic zeal for the destruction of the past—to avoid the trouble and the consequences of processing, and to spare oneself the self-analysis—seeks to obliterate a chapter of history. This zeal extends to the built environment, and soon the ensemble that was the Alex of the seventies will fall victim to it as well.
From the window, Heike’s camera obscura scanned the city slowly and patiently, capturing the panorama at last in black and white after multiple attempts. The camera obscura produces a negative image, which she has not turned into a positive. She was right not to, as that makes it clear what she thinks about Berlin and the past: She took her time, allowing personal memories to reinfuse monochrome history with color.
I too was searching for the personal in the monochrome city in Heike’s pictures, for that certain silver-gray I’d once seen from my hotel window. Of the horizon I saw not a trace: The sky covered Berlin like a dark cloud.

Gábor Andrási
Budapest, 2000