1942 – 13242

With the so-called “Schwerbelastungskörper” [Heavy Load-Bearing Body] the load-bearing capacity of the sandy soil of Brandenburg was tested for the megalomaniac construction projects of the Nazis for the future “Welthauptstadt Germania” [World Capital Germania]. The test construction which was probably built by French forced labourers in 1942 presses with a massive weight of more than 12,000 tons on the ground. The experiment has been observed by scientist of the TU Berlin until recently. Their studies documented that the Heavy Load-Bearing Body already has sunk by 20.2 centimetres since its construction.

The intervention “1942-13242” explores the question of how long it would take the Heavy Load-Bearing Body at constant sinking rate to be completely disappeared into the ground: more than ten thousand years. This extremely slow and continuous process lies beyond our perception and can only be observed over very long periods of time. The scale from 1942 to 13242 attached to the railings of the observation platform displays the extension of the duration of the sinking process. The scaling visualizes with that a temporal structure which the construction project of the Nazis designs towards a fixed point in the future. This temporal structure came into existence in 1942 and is unaffected from or ignores a historical break/turning point in 1945. By means of its materiality, the Heavy Load-Bearing Body thus defies time markings which are constructed by practices of commemoration such as anniversaries.

Installation on the Heavy Load-Bearing Body in Berlin-Tempelhof for Monuments Day
Theme: Far away from Good and Beautiful: Uncomfortable Monuments/span>

September 8 – October 13, 2013