Ein Deutscher Pavillon
‘In everyday life you can find the essence of a nation’
Roger Willemsen - Journey through Germany
Can architecture pacify the burdened German memory? Can design deal with collective and private grievances from the past? Ein Deutscher Pavillon voices the ambition to stage the re-united state. A public debate is triggered through a unique architectural approach addressing Germany’s problematic history. The World Exhibition still seems to be characterized by the glamorous presentation of a single state. This is unfortunately a fairly superficial image of the nation.
The project focuses on Germany; the German national image and the profile of its people are constantly changing. The demise of the war generation and the reunification are today changing the national consciousness. The question remains: How can Germany present itself as a nation in an architectural context, and how can we present an identity, which shows the new common spirit and deals with the nation’s past? Let’s therefore investigate this process.
‘The Berlin Wall’, which was once built as a political border and developed into a historical monument, served as an inspiration for this project. The important monument is still present in people’s minds, although the physical architecture no longer exists.
For the installation, personal souvenirs comprising of single German memories were collected. As such, the souvenir functions as a way of communicating German memories. All these stories together create a multidimensional picture, influenced by the discoveries made on the journey through the installation.
Germans will be asked to send a personal memento – an object that reminds them of a German situation, plus a description of the memento. The items are conserved in transparent luggage bags, culminating in a display of innumerable personal German memories. The souvenirs and the resulting pile will be assembled during the following months in different European cities.
During the exposition the pile will decrease, as each visitor takes away a luggage-bag as a ’gift’. The German souvenirs spread out all over the world.