Die leere Mitte (The Empty Centre)

Hito Steyerl

28 April 1998

Original format: 16 mm. DVD. 62 min.

Dedicated to one of Berlin’s most famous squares, this work explores the memory of a site heavily connoted by its immediate past, by a history loaded with tragic events and inhabited by ghosts. Fascist ideology is present, much like in the former Universidad Laboral, though in this case it is through the absence of its traces. Also in the dialectics of blocks which operated strongly in the same space. Nevertheless, although all this is present there, in a spectral manner, what the artist chiefly focuses her attention on is the reconstruction of the square in the 1990s, as a symbol of the new political order in contemporary Germany. The buildings built there are monuments to corporate capitalism which, much like the immediate past, also builds its own walls and borders of exclusion.