Berlin Symphonies – a media installation
3 Nov 23–6 May 24
Parallel to the exhibition ‘Fokus Fernsehen Thomas Schadt’, we are presenting a media installation that takes viewers on a journey through a century of Berlin’s history.
Just as the musical symphony strives for the harmony of a range of instruments, melodies and rhythms, the film symphony aims to combine a range of visual imagery with a specially composed score to form a coherent whole without dialogue. Walther Ruttmann created this genre in 1927 with the documentary ‘Berlin. Die Sinfonie der Grossstadt’ (Berlin. The Symphony of the Big City), which depicts a day in the life of the city and its population in poetic, expressive moving images.
Excerpts from these film symphonies are juxtaposed in three synchronous projections to create a new composition that looks back on a day in the life of Berlin in the 1920s, at the turn of the millennium and in the present. The installation not only takes the viewer on a journey through the history of film but above all through the history of Berlin. Its changing urban landscape as well as Berliners’ workplaces and social interaction is shown. Alongside specific images that illustrate the period in which each film was made, the interplay of the three films highlights the continuities that make the city what it is: a place of contrasts. Here international city life and neighbourhood culture intersect, as well as political resistance and hedonistic temptation, yesterday and tomorrow.
Media curator: Anna Heizmann
Editing: Stanislaw Milkowski
Media setup: Stephan Werner
Exhibition graphics: Vera Franke, Franke | Steinert, Berlin
With friendly support from Max Hassemer (DREINULL), Marc Klocker (NFP marketing & distribution GmbH) and Sandra Thimm (UFA FICTION GmbH). The documentary ‘Berlin. The Symphony of the Big City’ (SWR 2002, Thomas Schadt) can be seen in full length in the media library opposite as part of the Television Archive, which makes presents more than 12,000 programmes throughout the history of German television.
In cooperation with Der regierende Bürgermeister von Berlin – Senatskanzlei