Art in Architecture: Untitled
Nothing lasts forever: after having been closed in 1990, the Palace of the Republic was demolished between 2006 and 2008. A few years and an interim use later, the Humboldt Forum was built on the same site. But though gone from the urban space, the Palace of the Republic, which had served as the seat of the GDR Volkskammer, or People’s Chamber, and as a cultural centre from the mid-1970s, leaves its mark on this new building on a historic site: specifically in a large-scale wall painting in the stairwell above Portal 5 of the Humboldt Forum. At this location, the Berlin-based artist Tim Trantenroth gives centre stage, like an echo, to the facade of the GDR Palace with its bronze-mirrored windows. His mural spans the entire portal wall, creating a compact spatial impression. Including almost 200 different shades of colour, the abstract grid evokes the architectural shell of the GDR building. For this artwork, which reflects on loss, memory and dealing with history, Trantenroth was awarded first place in one of the competitions for the seven Art in Architecture locations in the Humboldt Forum. Having conceived the work as a provocation or joke, he was all the more stunned when he won the competition.
Untitled, Tim Trantenroth, 2020, acrylic paint