PORTRAIT OF THE CITY - Berliner Airports
*Vernissage: 6/16(Fri) 18:00-
[Venue] Raum 139, Kunstquartier Bethanien
(Marianneplaz 2, 10997 Berlin, Germany)
A contemplation on what it means to capture the portrait of a city. The possibility of capturing time's passage in Berlin. A city with memories of division. A place where history is constructed by its citizens.
In 2011, I arrived at Tegel Airport to visit Berlin for the first time. At the time, Berlin was not only the capital of Germany but also already a major European city, and I was surprised to find that the airport was so compact. A few days later, when a friend took me to the site of Tempelhof Airport, I was even more shocked to find such a large tract of land preserved intact in the heart of the city. Some months after my visit, I learned that the opening of the new Brandenburg International Airport, which had been slated for that year, had been postponed. I sensed that airports held a deep significance for this city.
In 2013, after basing myself in Berlin, I began the research necessary to carry out this project in earnest. The Tempelhof Airport was built in the Nazi era, became a key base for delivering supplies during the east-west divide, closed down and had its redevelopment halted in a public vote, and is now partially used to provide temporary accommodation to refugees. The new Brandenburg International Airport continues to see its opening date pushed back from the original date of 2011, and is still under construction. The Tegel Airport was intended to close at the same time as the opening of the Brandenburg Airport, and the debate over its operation is still ongoing.
This rapidly internationalizing city of Berlin is changing to adapt to its future, and it has a present shaped by the awareness and acceptance of its history by its citizens. I think//believe the situation surrounding the new Brandenburg International Airport, the Tempelhof Airport, and the Tegel Airport represents the essence of the city of Berlin.
The present mirroring the future, history morphing, and the eternal present. By photographing these three airports as metaphors for the aforementioned, I tried to capture these complex temporal interactions and the true way in which time exists in this city.