“Between the Lines”

An Architectural Instawalk through the Jewish Museum Berlin

A group of people in the axes of the Libeskind-building

Instagrammers in the Libeskind Building; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Judith Westphal

Where might one best spend the hottest day of the year? If not on the water or in the woods, there are only a few reasonable options. For example, an air conditioned museum with lots of underground passages! Fitting then that as part of Architecture Day on Friday, June 24th 2016, we led a very special kind of museum tour: Equipped with smartphones and professional cameras, we took a group of Berliner Instagrammers through the labyrinth that is the Libeskind Building, with Tommaso as guide. Even we as staff were able to learn a thing or two.

From the sukkah – sorry, our glass courtyard – we meandered through the building’s axes and the Garden of Exile. Every opportunity was taken to photograph each of the museum’s oblique angles, using reflections in the vitrine glass, looking for new perspectives. The so-called Holocaust Tower, grim it is, was a particular challenge to capture.

The results were immediately uploaded to Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #emptyjmb. We concluded in the Diaspora Garden of the W. Michael Blumenthal Academy across from the museum. It was an evening full of new understanding that was as much optical as intellectual. Perhaps we’ll do another such tour through the permanent exhibition? Or in the Museum Garden? But then when the weather cools off a bit.

It was during the Instawalk that Judith Westphal first learned of the Walter Benjamin playground on the south side of the Libeskind building. She thanks all those who took part.

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