Berlin Bald Fertig by Robert Herrmann
“Berlin is damned forever to become and never to be,” writes art critic Karl Scheffler at the end of his classic 1910 portrait of the city Berlin. Ein Stadtschicksal. “Berlin is soon to be finished!” the series retorts bluntly, yet with a wink. Most of the empty plots have now been filled. Building ground has become scarce and the surplus housing space from two decades ago has long since turned into a housing shortage. The time of interim use is also slowly coming to an end. And now that even the new capital city airport BER, legendary for its 10-year delay in construction time, has started operations, this assertion could really be true.
By taking the example of Berlin construction sites from the 2010s and early 2020s, the series questions how and why we create our cities the way we do. It draws attention to buildings in the making, not without disregarding their urban context. Yet, sometimes the captured scenes even appear to be detached from their surroundings, as if they were optical illusions, and intentionally leave the viewer uncertain about which state they were in at the moment of the shot.