Kunst am Bau public art programme
Treptow District Library, Berlin
Literature transports the reader to fantastic destinations.
Intricately detailed maps allow us to locate many of these places.
The criss-crossing chords of a portolan chart are inscribed
on the ground in the reading courtyard, whilst the outlines of islands
are dotted across the windows opening onto this space.
Looking through the panes, these schematically sketched
isles are overlaid upon the mesh of lines on the ground. The map
serves as an underpinning, a patterning that unleashes our imagination.
These spatial superpositions allow cartography here in a sense to evade
the familiar yardsticks that define maps, for, landmarks normally fixed
in place become dislocated as viewers move around. From each new
perspective, the lay of the land undergoes a permutation.
The island as a clearly demarcated piece of land:
Atlantis, Avalon, Lilliput, Morrowland, Neverland,
Númenor, Tlön, Thule, Utopia, ...
Its limited frame turns the isle into a theatrical space:
this frame almost inevitably transforms everything that
happens within it into a story, an intimate drama
in an unspecified setting, into the stuff that dreams are