PRINT January 1983


The exhibition site—a partially restored, superb neo-Renaissance palazzo in West Berlin, designed by Martin Gropius and formerly the Prussian Museum of Arts and Crafts—is itself spectacular and mnemonic. The political monstrosity slicing the city into two radically separate parts, the Berlin Wall with its land mines, runs scarcely ten meters away. The site of the former headquarters of the Gestapo is also nearby; now-filled-in cellars right beside the exhibition building were torture chambers of the SS. Here both German and world history—the rigorous division of the world into East and West—meet. The place itself promotes a challenge to the emotions and the intellect.

The title of the exhibition—“Zeitgeist”—is invested in its popular use with the idea of hitting the nerve of the moment. It also recalls the Hegelian concept of the objective spirit that unfolds

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