Thursday, 16 April 2015

Postcard from Berlin

Having a lovely time here in Berlin.

I am here to photograph Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, but today is a day off (#recce) and i have time to visit my favourite places in the world, which just happen to be in the same city. I love so much about Berlin but its public art is the most impressive.

At the memorial to the burning of the books by the Nazis at Bebelplatz, created by Micha Ullman called 'Library', i watch couples stand on the sunken glass panel and hug and kiss. Its very moving.

The space around the Brandenburg Gate is so noisy and full of tourists it is really easy to miss one of my favourite places in the world and in a way i am glad.
© Unknown

There is a small door at the side of the structure leading to the Raum der Stille (Room of Silence). It's a simple room with chairs and beautiful tapestry by Ritta Hagar.
© Richard Ansett

Me in the Room of Silence facing the tapestry by Ritta Hagar © Unknown

Now off to the Soviet War Memorial at Treptower Park designed by Yakov Belopolsky.

Selfie with sore feet at Treptower Park, Berlin © Richard Ansett

Detail from relief at Soviet War Memorial Treptower Park, Berlin © Richard Ansett

Selfie with Soviet War Memorial, Treptower Park, Berlin

The stunning socialist realist reliefs depicting the suffering and resolve of the Soviet people are beautiful and humbling, it is also home to the only Swastika on a public monument (all be it crushed under the mighty sword of socialism HURRAY!) The pink marble on the modernist archway was taken from the original Reichstag when it was routed by the Russian troops and my friend (the art director from Vanity Fair) used to slide down it as a child in the winter.

Now off to meet my friends, mentor  Boris (who just happens to be the greatest photographic artist of the 20th century #discuss) and his wife Vita at their apartment and thank goodness I brought them a gift of one of my photographs from 'The Dolls House' as it is his birthday and VITA DID NOT TELL ME so we all go out for dinner at a restaurant owned by some gangsters and pimps. We eventually got a great table but the service was terrible, no-one said anything of course!

Richard Ansett with Boris Mikhailov © Vita Mikhailov

Wish you were here. xx

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