The problem of berlin

Berlin is a city built from the turbulent paradoxical layers of the past, remnants of which still exist in architecture old and new, changed street names, infamous boulevards, public memorials and the voids in-between. The phenomena felt in Berlin is the consequence of the displacement of memories on a monumental level. It is the sense of what is visible and invisible, but is palpable in the pavements; creating an atmosphere one could describe as a landscape of memories.


Superficial Sensation is an ongoing research project exploring the relationship between public art, particularly monuments and memorials, architecture and the collective shared knowledge of history i.e. cultural memory. The retention of historical fact succumbs to the excessive weight of Berlin’s mystified manufactured history cultivated by its rich legion of memorials and monuments.  One must be truly scrupulous, tenacious and informed in their critical thinking in order to successfully distinguish historical fact from monumental fiction in palimpsest cities such as Berlin. Superficial Sensation combines thorough evidence based research with a methodical and well informed studio practice to explore 'the problem of Berlin'. 

Marshall, H. E. (2017) Brigitte Matschinsky-Denninghoff and Martin Matschinky, 

Berlin. [Photograph]

© 2019 Hollie Marshall