space that saw
2012 | 108 pages, hardcover | ISBN 978-3-86335-292-9
Ramshackle doors and windows, raw steel girders, crumbling walls, dark stairwells and narrow, worn wooden stairs are all that remains of the dilapidated 1920s variety theater that has been rediscovered in Berlin Mitte. It is in these spaces, clearly marked by past decades, that the British artist Mike Nelson has made subtle, narrative interventions. At first they are hard to recognize, but they change the beholder's perception, leading them back to themselves. A carpenter's workshop seems long abandoned and traces of human activity can still be made out, yet this is, in fact, a construct of the artist, just like the spotlit theater stage. The highlight is a fragile light well à la James Turrell, which leads back outside into the Berlin sky, right in the middle of the book.