Berlin

Lars Ramberg

Palast der Republik

It’s hard to miss Lars Ramberg’s Palast des Zweifels (Palace of Doubt), 2005. The word ZWEIFEL (doubt)—written in three-story-tall letters sculpted in aluminum and filled with white neon-tube lighting—glows from atop the empty Palast der Republik, which is due to be demolished this fall. The former East German parliament building—and a civic-cum-entertainment center offering restaurants and bowling—was closed due to asbestos in September 1990, just weeks after what was touted as the GDR’s first freely elected government voted to join the Federal Republic. When the Palast reopened as a gutted yet asbestos-free shell in 2003, tickets for tours rapidly sold out, although there was little left to see inside. The building’s persistent popularity led to a series of concerts, talks, and exhibitions—notably those organized by Volkspalast (People’s Palace)—as an attempt to reclaim the communal

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