Manfred Pernice

Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder

Today when you ride the U5, once East Berlin’s most important subway line, it takes you from the TV-tower-adorned Alexanderplatz by way of Frankfurter Allee and Friedrichsfelde to the northeast limit of the city, at Hellersdorf. This is where Le Corbusier’s “machine for living,” the Unité d’Habitation Typ Berlin, meets the condensed urban fabric of cheap, concrete-slab apartment buildings that made architectural history in the ’60s as a symbol of social progress but in the ’80s became the very image of aesthetic resignation. Societal gaps and cultural imbalances such as those between modernist aspiration and its cut-rate knockoffs are what move Manfred Pernice, whose latest exhibition was titled “U5.”

An aesthetic and ideological showcase of the former East German republic, the venerable subway line was renovated in 2003–2004 to give the station’s socialist face a makeover. Clinker brick

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