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Issue No.10 - In Between: neither here, nor there

To teach is to learn twice. 
- Joseph Joubert



In Transit
That in between stage

Human Footprints
A land once trod

Because it’s an immense deep world
Tapping in

Roll Call
Attending to names

A clash of elements

In the Room
A resonating space

Biographical Twists
Unusual ways of seeing oneself

Being There
The effect of the immediate

What the Mind Brings
Recognising the whirrings of perception

Ten Myths
Uncovering an issue's buried myths

What is Missing?
Going beyond the fact of place

Welcome to edition # 10 of The Creative Teaching Space.

In this edition we continue our journey of opening new possibilities in teaching and learning.

Keep learning and exploring. One can continue to find new directions to point learners. Make it an adventure, embrace the mystery, support endeavours and create a space for nourishment. Celebrate the joy in learning, its application in the everyday and its connections to much deeper understandings. Hold on to the simple while resisting the simplistic.

Our world is one of patterns and threads – a reality steeped in a past that connects to the present and the future. One of the greatest gifts we can present to the new generation is a recognition of interconnectedness. This is in profound defiance of simplistic views that argue for e.g. violence. Learners increasingly need to embrace an understanding that e.g. trauma simply breeds trauma. There are no clear lines or ends in violence. When one remembers, one also grieves and hates. It is creativity that opens new possibilities. It is creativity that breaks instinctive cycles and celebrates our ability to overcome. The fanatic is just as trapped and as sad as the immovable ideologue. A creative spirit embraces the unknown, the grey and the uncertain – a humility that makes us stop, think, and recognize what is shared and true.

This edition presents a simple theme. We are often going somewhere. Our moment points to a future. What happens when we consider the transit and value the in-between time?

In Transit

I have recently dipped into Alain de Botton’s book The Art of Travel. It is an interesting read and presents many points. One point that comes to mind is when one is in transit, travelling to one's destination. This is far from a vacant moment. It carries with it the anticipation of the destination (the imagined that can be profoundly different from that experienced later), the memory of the preparation (this may have been very detailed and tiring so that one is finally relieved when sitting in the train or plane) and the immediacy of the transit moment, simply sitting within e.g. the plane (here one is subject to the in-cabin milieu with all its accoutrements let alone the culture of airports). To think that I am using the word 'accoutrements' - perhaps my language has visited France before me.

These moments are laden with perspectives. Far different from the memory and those captured by snapshots. Transit moments are undervalued because one is not there, one is simply on the way. If we wish to broaden perspectives we need to look further into these moments. They are increasingly a reality in our modern day of international travel.

What psychology underpins 5-Star hotels? Why do they, and airport lounges, often feel the same? What does this say about cultures and security? What happens to the body when one travels? Here one can explore bio-rhythms of the body – the science of travel. Why are we shown movies straight after food? Is this the art of settling down? What is going on here? What data underpins the fact of travel – the mathematics of schedules, filling seats, security and time zones? How do we experience the geography of travel? We view from 30, 000 feet. What is the temperature outside the plane? How is the world perceived via the screened map in the plane? How is a reality of place different from the imagined, the advertised, the long remembered?

On any journey the in-between stage carries with it many experiences. The passenger ritualises the journey – sharing moments, movies, games, socialising. How does one’s mood change? What is the inner journey? What elements of design is one surrounded by? The passenger reads a carefully designed safety sheet or opens a carefully designed meal. How is the food prepared? How is luggage loaded? How important are space, volume and weight on planes? To what extent does one carry one’s culture with oneself? Here I am reminded of a story of an Australian farmer who journeyed through the plane engaging with everyone. He came from an isolated location where meetings were very punctuated. This contrasted a German businessman, aloof and distant, weighted in the reality of being surrounded by people. What would it sound like if we could hear the inner or outer conversations of people? Where is one when travelling – what legal jurisdiction is one sitting in?

Consider how the act of transit can be used in learning. People throughout history have made journeys. These have been recorded via journals or photography. How is the record different from the reality? A record denotes a finish. How is the journey different when one doesn’t really know where one is going and what is going to happen? Consider exploring travel writing and how it draws upon many disciplines – the psychological, the cultural, the historic, the geographic, the scientific, etc.

What sorts of cultures are created in transit? The drive movie dissipates into a lost venture – Two Lane Blacktop. The plane journey evokes phobias. The train journey reminds us of innumerable train movies and plots.

Time drags as we lose a sense of time and a sense of place – literally in plane travel. Accents change, new people join the plane, and stopovers provide opportunities of watching major stopping points in the world where in-transit cultures meet. I will never forget wandering around Bangkok airport, dazed by jetlag, witnessing a huge terminal processing many people from the Middle East – a variety of clothes so different to the Australian culture. I can also remember the many conversations struck up on planes – where are you going, where do you come from plus a recognition of the similarities despite our differences. Then we all depart, many to never see each other again.

Here I am reminded of a fellow I once met who was researching the act of being in-transit. Besides writing a thesis he collected airline safety charts. They were accordingly laminated and turned into placemats for his children.

Reflect upon anyone who takes a journey. Regardless of whether it is in literature, science or history, what is really going on? How is being in the journey – in transit – different from the end result or destination?

He looks at the beautiful billowing clouds. It must be 50 degrees below out there. He must be travelling near to a thousand kilometres per hour. All he hears is a faint drone of the engines, slight bumps due to turbulence, and muffled conversations. He looks at a growing gap between the clouds. The receding vapour trail of the plane is reflected as a clear line on the water. It appears calm down there. Islands come into view. He takes another drink of coffee and places the biscuit into the cardboard container. The biscuit tastes like cardboard. All this extraordinary technology – and yet preservatives have won the day – tasteless food that conveniently lasts. He looks at the movie choice – Jim Carrey? Classic hits or classical through the headphones? He dreams of the biscuits and food he will have when he gets there. He remembers the poignant goodbyes at the exit gate. He dreams of home and imagines the patterns. Those at home sleep, those nearby are waking. All is receding like the vapour tail and the taste of a preservative-laced biscuit.

Road Ode: Loudon Wainwright III

(Parody of Willie Nelson from the great live album Career Moves)

On the road again
Paying my back taxes
Road again

Well you walk into the room
And switch on the TV
And there’s Phil Donohue or Oprah Winfrey
And suddenly you don’t feel so lonely
Even though you’re out on the road

Open up the drawer
And there’s that Bible
God’s honest truth but you’re not liable
To use it you prefer myth and libel
That’s cause you’re out on the road

It’s baby shampoo
No you’re not snobby
Losing your toothbrush is your hobby
Lucky they sell that stuff in the lobby
Lucky that you’re out on the road

Out on the road, out on the road
You’re Willy Loman and your Tom Joad
Vladimir and Estragon, Kerouac, Genghis Khan

Out on the road, out on the road
Keep on going’s your creed and code
It’s a different way of life
It’s a whole other mode
Living out on the road……..

Human Footprints

We all hear of footprints left by animals, those of dinosaurs discovered across a fossilized riverbed. This is the eminence of rock.

Tar or mud or other viscous substances record impressions and lock them into land over eons. Soil erodes and suddenly impressions are revealed – an impression of a child running across a mudflat, the deep impressions of a mother’s feet, was she carrying a child at the time?

Fossilized remains can be fascinating. They can also be very moving. I can recall a recent documentary in which researchers were uncovering and recording the footprints of an ancient people across an English mudflat. The tide had revealed the find. As the upper layers of mud were removed so we discovered the pattern of footprints. Yet this was a losing battle. At the same time as the tide withdrew it was guaranteed to return. Footprints started to slowly erode. After only a few days the snapshot of ancient movements would be removed. The earth reveals yet also takes away. A tantalizing insight into an archaic story, no different to those of our prints left in the soil. Who will uncover these if our footprints are preserved? What stories will they tell future generations?

Human footprints tell many stories. Archaeologists read and construct an ancient novel. Detectives piece together clues to create their own thriller. Aboriginal trackers look for incredibly subtle signs in the landscape – a language as rare as many of their own. The foot tells about the rest of the body – direction, weight, what may have been carried. The mundane steps into science as the orthopedic nature of the foot meets the elements of soil and time.

Yet think of all those images of footprints. A lonely beach with footprints merging into the distance. Images of loneliness and a story only echoed. Think of the parables –

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from anguish,
sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints,
so I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?"
The Lord replied,
"The years when you have seen only one set of footprints,
my child, is when I carried you."

Mary Stevenson

(Note how the concept of copyright ironically also leaves its own footprints. See the above website)

See Biographical Twists (down the page) for another poem on Footprints in the Sand.

A child has been lost. The tribe has left the elderly man. A man wanders into the distance to seek help. Imagine the many stories that footprints can tell. Did he or she enter the sea? Where has he or she gone? Did he or she emerge from the water? Do these feet belong to the only person on this island?

We conclude it is a ‘10 metre long human footprint trail.  Adult male, approx 1,66m tall, walking at 3,7 kph.’

But now I come to a new scene of my life. It happened one day, about noon, going towards my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man's naked foot on the shore, which was very plain to be seen on the sand. I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an apparition. I listened, I looked round me, but I could hear nothing, nor see anything; I went up to a rising ground to look farther; I went up the shore and down the shore, but it was all one; I could see no other impression but that one. I went to it again to see if there were any more, and to observe if it might not be my fancy; but there was no room for that, for there was exactly the print of a foot-toes, heel, and every part of a foot. How it came thither I knew not, nor could I in the least imagine; but after innumerable fluttering thoughts, like a man perfectly confused and out of myself, I came home to my fortification, not feeling, as we say, the ground I went on, but terrified to the last degree, looking behind me at every two or three steps, mistaking every bush and tree, and fancying every stump at a distance to be a man. Nor is it possible to describe how many various shapes my affrighted imagination represented things to me in, how many wild ideas were found every moment in my fancy, and what strange, unaccountable whimsies came into my thoughts by the way……. 

In the middle of these cogitations, apprehensions, and reflections, it came into my thoughts one day that all this might be a mere chimera of my own, and that this foot might be the print of my own foot, when I came on shore from my boat: this cheered me up a little, too, and I began to persuade myself it was all a delusion; that it was nothing else but my own foot; and why might I not come that way from the boat, as well as I was going that way to the boat? Again, I considered also that I could by no means tell for certain where I had trod, and where I had not; and that if, at last, this was only the print of my own foot, I had played the part of those fools who try to make stories of spectres and apparitions, and then are frightened at them more than anybody.

Robinson Crusoe etext

Footprints have been left on the moon:

The dusty surface took footprints like damp sand. Although superficially soft, it proved remarkably resistant to penetration by coring tubes, which generally hung up after being driven a few inches.

Movie stars place their prints at the front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater:

I put my hands and feet in the wet cement outside Grauman's Chinese in Hollywood, and at Cape Canaveral, Florida, Gus Grissom and John Young lifted off into outer space for the third manned space flight ever in a capsule christened 'The Molly Brown'. Debbie Reynolds quote.

Because it’s an immense deep world

We idolise people. We place them on pedestals. We isolate celebrities in the vacuum of their own talent – unique, legendary, inimitable.

How often do we stop and simply recognise the threads? Creativity doesn’t evolve from nowhere. It comes at a time and a place.

The voices of the past speak through the present. The ghosts of literature, poetry, theatre, song, etc, are moving through the present generation.

Listen to the past generation and you hear the first flowing of the springs. Follow it further and it becomes deeper and wider – a nourishing source with ever deeper pools to explore.

These sobering words from Bob Dylan tell us how creative exploration and learning should never end:

I don’t have to work very hard at it. It’s just there. It’s always been right there. I figure everybody’s got a gift for some kind of thing that they really like to do. And as long as they keep doing it, and they’re true to whatever that is, what they really like to do - and it’s sufficient - then as you go on, I mean I know in my case, I learn more and more about it. I consider myself just still at the beginning.

I’m still the same. I’m still the same person. I still feel like the same person. The music I used to listen to, it’s still the same music, a whole list of names of people who aren’t around anymore, you know? Those people, they were there first. They were like the clue to it. That was the world I came East to find, which was like a long odyssey in itself, just trying to get there. And those people I’m speaking of, they knew about the older people who’d been there in the forties. And the thirties. That stuff was real obscure, but they knew what it was and they had the stuff, they had it. I know it rubbed off on me. In a big way. It all sort off jumbled itself up in my mind and came out the way it came out. And if I stray from that, or if I don’t commit myself to it, thinking something else is happening….. but I don’t do that anymore. I fully believe that that is the blueprint for my type of creativity. There’ve never been any new developments. For me. You know what I mean? Because it’s an immense deep world. And it never ends. And for me, it’s been the be-all and end-all of how I conduct my life.

One of the feelings of it was that you were a part of a very elite, special group of people that was outside and downtrodden. You felt like you were part of a different community, a more secretive one. And this community spread out across America. It spread out across America. New York had plenty of it, but you go to a city like Philadelphia or, same thing, go to St. Louis, go to Columbus or go to, you know, Houston, go to Austin, Atlanta, every little city you went to, if you knew who to call, what to look for, you could find. . .like-minded people.

That’s been destroyed. I don’t know what destroyed it. Some people say that it’s still there. I hope it is. I know, in my mind, I’m still a member of a secret community. I might be the only one, you know?

BOB DYLAN, singer/songwriter, Los Angeles, September 11, 1997. "The Sixties": Doon Arbus/Richard Avedon.

Roll Call

Think of all those times teachers have called a roll, or in some countries, a register. How can this be done more creatively? Can it be collated quietly? Can it be allocated as a responsibility to students? Can it be done in such a way that the information received is built into the learning?

When you answer the roll can you please tell us your favourite place?

A roll call or teacher’s address is synonymous with the English public school system – or the military. It carries authoritarian tones and is superbly satirized by many comedians.

HUMPHREY (Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life)

Now, two boys have been found rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant. Now, some of you may feel that the cormorant does not play an important part in the life of the school, but I would remind you that it was presented to us by the Corporation of the town of Sudbury to commemorate Empire Day, when we try to remember the names of all those from the Sudbury area who so gallantly gave their lives to keep China British. So, from now on, the cormorant is strictly out of bounds! Oh, and Jenkins, apparently your mother died this morning…………….

TEACHER (Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life)

All right, settle down. Settle down.

Now, before I begin the lesson, will those of you who are playing in the match this afternoon move your clothes down onto the lower peg immediately after lunch, before you write your letter home, if you're not getting your hair cut, unless you've got a younger brother who is going out this weekend as the guest of another boy, in which case, collect his note before lunch, put it in your letter after you've had your hair cut, and make sure he moves your clothes down onto the lower peg for you.

The Meaning of Life script, Monty Python script.

Just how differently can a roll call be conducted? How can one alter its use in teaching or training to provide feedback, break the ice and further bond a group? How can one satirize the institutions of learning and in doing so give us a new sense of what learning can be?

Maybe do this within the training room or classroom. Hold a mirror up to learning. If you aren’t doing this, and you are operating within an authoritarian system, then I can ensure you that your students are doing it in the privacy of their conversations.

One only has to experience the fantastic send ups by Monty Python, or the insights of Dickens, to appreciate how learning can be so easily strangled by meaningless and authoritarian conventions. How we should despair at the power games. Mis-applied learning comes to haunt us in the form of satire.

No One Called Jones

Right. Quiet. Ainsley. Babcock. Bland. Carthorse. Dint. Ellsworth-Beast-Major. Ellsworth-Beast-Minor. Fiat. German. Hemoglobin. Have-a-nut. Jones, M. Jones, N. Cossigan. Loud-haylark. Mattock. Nancyboy-Possum. Nibble. Come on, settle down. Orifice. Plectrum. Poinse. Sediment. Soda. Te. Te? Undermanager. Wicket. Williams-Wicket? Williams-Witcheley. Witcheley-Wicket. Witcheley-Williams. And Witcheley-Williams-Wocket. Zob. Absent. All right, your essays. Discuss the contention that Cleopatra had the body of a roll-top desk and the mind of a duck……

Hard Times
, Charles Dickens

The speaker, and the schoolmaster, and the third grown person present, all backed a little, and swept with their eyes the inclined plane of little vessels then and there arranged in order, ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim.


Think of all those times when an image or story presents a striking contrast. Black is on white. White is on black. A person, or their actions, stand out from the background. Sometimes an image can be presented in such a way that it is striking. Here I am reminded of the fantastic photo of a nanny and child captured by Robert Frank: Charleston, South Carolina, 1955. See my article Where Photos Lead.

The following website covering the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War Two shows a fascinating film of an English Bobby opening a car door for a German officer. Here propaganda understands contrast only too well – a frightening image designed to scare an already fraught British population. A striking image designed to spread fear through the clashing of disparate elements.

What other images are there that present such contrast. Why are they used? Think of advertising. Think of the power of photography or film. I am reminded here of the advertising image of a parachuting elephant from the Disney film Operation Dumbo Drop . Does the game of contrast play with our expectations and our knowledge of physical properties? What happens if students play with the expectations of an audience? Take a range of elements within a curriculum and contrast them – place them against each other in differing ways. Shakespeare is talking to a modern day footballer, a man in a deep sea diving suit is standing in the centre of Times Square, an impoverished refugee is standing in the center of an up-market jewellery store. What happens when we put such elements together? What meanings emerge? Perhaps Rene Magritte was far ahead of his time in realising that images can be manipulated and contrasted. This can be done with great ease in our day of digital manipulation.

Check out the following story by Isaac Asimov for an insight into how contrasting elements can impact: "The Immortal Bard".

And the official follow up – in the library – The Complete Stories of Isaac Asimov, Collins, 1995, ISBN: 0006480160.

In the Room

This image is by Wim Wenders: see also this site.

A photograph of a hotel lounge. A discovery on one of Wim Wenders’ field trips – scouting for locations for one of his films? Wenders is a much under-rated photographer. His images are quite fascinating, speaking of exotic places in remote desert towns, rooms, etc. I saw many of his photographs in an exhibition in Wellington, New Zealand, last Christmas.

A room can become quite exotic, a place that attracts us, begs questions, radiates with the presence of former guests. The ordinary can become strangely luminous. Wenders has this eye – think of many of his films – a perspective shared by many European directors who see the United States with a new and sometimes off-beat eye.

Can students capture this essence by recording the ordinary? A room is bare. All that is left behind are condiments. Who was there? What stories does this room speak? Look at the design of any room. What does it tell us about the original designer? Have many hands altered this room? Are many elements clashing? Is this a room with many stories, owners and passer-bys?

We don’t have to have people in pictures or photographs for the picture to speak to us. A range of fittings can speak a thousand words. Just consider how spaces can find their own voice and words.

Biographical Twists

Blurbs on the backs of books are usually deadly serious. Rarely are they tongue-in-cheek.

The following are two fantastic blurbs by the English poet Matthew Harvey. And I also include one of his poems.

Imagine if characters, authors, poets, painters – or for that matter anyone famous – referred to themselves in a tongue-in-cheek way. What would they say? Now that’s a good exercise for students. Too often we take the publisher’s blurb as gospel without getting the flavour or personality of the author. What would students write if they had to write about themselves in a similar manner? Compare the results!

Matthew Harvey’s Blurbs

His consuming interest in the core concerns of contemporary society has led him into many interesting shops. Green Book

Matthew "Matt" Harvey has always been interested in what makes people tick, while others tock, and some sit silently and chime on the hour. In his short but fascinating life Matthew has worked extensively with the Socially Awkward, the Emotionally Elusive, the Psychologically Insufferable and the Strangely Quiet. In the late 1980’s his pioneering work with the Unforthcoming earned hesitant praise from leading lights in the field, and his current project - forging links with the preoccupied - has been described as ‘necessary’.

Matthew Harvey, Here We Are Then: Kingfisher Print and Design, Totnes, Devon, 1992, 1996.

See Matthew’s website for further information. And book him if you live in the U.K. – or China. Matthew likes to travel and his favorite colour is …..?

Beside the Sea

I searched for metric meanings
along the grinding beach,
but despite my mystic leanings
they were always out of reach.

I dug for deeper answers
beneath the padded sands,
but all I found were dancers
with seaweed in their hands.

Though I boned up on history
and strove to keep the score,
the sea remained a mystery
and I remained ashore.

Still I’d seek to know the essence
of what I am today,
for the proof of my pale presence
will soon be washed away -

And the seedbed of my questions
will be covered by the sea,
where my bones will find a rest-home
when I’m no longer me.

Though I remember all the faces
and record what I have seen
the sea will wash away the traces
As though they’d never been.

For the sea’s here to remind us
as we walk upon the land
that all we leave behind us
are footprints in the sand

And footprints in the sand, it’s said,
however deep and wide
shall not keep their distinctive tread
beyond the next high tide.

We pay ourselves such complements
yet barely understand
that the greatest of our monuments are
footprints in the sand.

Matthew Harvey from Songs Sung Sideways.

Being There

Recently there were a number of tributes following Alastair Cooke’s retirement. These sadly were followed by obituaries as he died a number of weeks later.

In a number of tributes the following story was cited. Cooke so often the commentator – after the fact – found himself eerily in the same room where Bobby Kennedy’s body was dragged after his assassination. Cooke was at the centre of the action.

In the following story he refers to the numbness of being at this tragic event. A kind of muteness took over. Just because one is a commentator doesn’t mean that one can always find words. Perhaps one needs hindsight and distance to truly capture an event.

Consider these possibilities if your students are covering an event. How do they feel? How easy was it to capture what was happening? Consider what it would be like to be placed in history and to capture historic moments. What would one say? What would one face?

Read examples of the written coverage of historic events at the following site: EyeWitness to History.

What the Mind Brings

What does the mind bring to learning? With so much emphasis on correctness here is a quote that poses a number of questions:

tihs cnat be rgiht?
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Vryr tniersetng fustf.

How active is the mind during perception? Do we underestimate the workings of the mind? Should we emphasis the way we perceive even more in learning? If we are able to interpret so well then how can we put these skills to even more use in learning?

The mind is rich. It is also quite unfathomable. Should we be celebrating the mind more in learning rather than focusing on correctness? I am sure that being correct has its time and place. This is a given. Does the process have qualities that we can focus on rather than always focusing on ‘the correct’ or ‘the end results’?

How important is the above Cambridge quote? Is it quasi-science being used for quasi purposes? Ooops! Check out the history of the citation at the following excellent website.

Ten Myths

Things come in numbers – often sevens, often tens. What lists do your students know?

At the same time consider how you can present important insights through interesting lists – in this case – a list of myths. This of course presupposes that one can also present the truths opposing the myths.

The following poster presents ten myths about World Hunger.

Myths are powerful forces. They naturalise themselves as truths and masquerade as the norm. It sometimes takes a careful approach to uncover what forces are at work.

A great strategy is to find the myths surrounding a topic and to present the alternative. Why do we believe in myths? Why do they take hold? How can one fight myths and spread the truth?

What is Missing?

The above artwork by Christian Boltanski asks us to consider what is not there. Europe has been largely rebuilt since World War Two. This was often a result of bombings that caused great destruction across cities – an occurrence being replicated in Afghanistan and across the Middle East.

Sometimes it takes an artwork to make us stop in our tracks and consider the truth. We stop. We slow down. We ponder. Yes a house is missing. People lived here once. Where are those people now? Were they killed? What stories could this house have told?

Many European cities are very modern. I have spent some time in Cologne, Germany. Its modern architecture is punctuated by small memorials and relics left as reminders of the war. Here simple buildings become memorials surrounded by redevelopment. This is the case of the Atomic Bomb Dome, ruin of the Industrial Promotion Hall in Hiroshima at the Memorial Peace Park.

Pause for a moment and consider what was here before: your house, your school, the buildings you see everyday. Find vacant areas and consider what may have been in what is now an empty space.

Christian Boltanski, "The Missing House," 1990 on Grosshamburger Strasse, Berlin.

This apartment house in central Berlin was destroyed by aerial bombardment in February, 1945. In 1990, French artist Christian Boltanski and his students did research on the site, found that all the former residents were Jews, and constructed a memorial space dedicated to "absence." The signs indicate the names of the residents and approximate place where they lived in the building, their dates of birth and death, and occupations, which went across class lines.

Darron Davies

© Copyright In Clued - Ed 2009


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