Simone Zaugg

360° – Perspektiven auf Marx und die Allee (360° Perspectives on Marx and the Allee)

A telescope installed on the traffic island between the lanes of the Karl-Marx-Allee offers more than the expected views. Next to the area’s unique architecture, ten banners are to be discovered hanging from the balconies of the surrounding buildings. They show ten portraits of people with the last name Marx and include short statements from them. Residents, passers-by and tourists are invited to take a closer look at Karl-Marx-Allee from this vantage point, where the paths between the courthouse, the Kino International, the former Mokka Milch Eisbar, the Café Moskau, the entrance to the underground and Schillingstraße meet.

In one direction, 360° – Perspektiven auf Marx und die Allee illuminates architectural details of post-war GDR modernism and the prominent TV tower at Alexanderplatz. In the other, the transition between the architectural styles of Socialist Classicism and the visionary composition of holistic urban architecture that is Karl-Marx-Allee’s second section can be seen. Those residents who have offered up their balconies for the banners are integrated into this architectural setting by way of artistic intervention. The banners connect people from outside the area to Karl-Marx-Allee and to the project through their names.

The location of the telescope makes the frictions of a place that is something between residential area and thoroughfare road physically tangible. But the area also offers insights into ideas of urban architecture, historical connections and political backgrounds. The project enables viewers to position themselves at an axis of history, architectural development and political change. The view through the telescope opens up unusual perspectives while the banners hanging from the balconies expand the panorama upwards and beyond Karl-Marx-Allee.