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Walter Benjamin, 50 Cent & The Pharaohs Sarcophagus - Course Brief

SS15 PROJECT_POSTED_BY sam chermayeff     April 1, 2015    



Walter Benjamin, 50 Cent & The Pharaohs Sarcophagus
Prof. Sam Chermayeff & Tobias Hönig
Guest Mirja Reuter


„The top feels so much better than the bottom / So much better / Ja you’s a window shopper / Mad at me / I think I know why / Jada you’s a window shopper / In the jewelery store, looking at shit you can’t buy“ (50 Cent)

Walter Benjamin is regarded one of Germany’s most important philosophers and cultural critics. In his most reowned work, „The Arcades Project“ („Passagen-Werk“), the (parisian) arcades, the pre- typology to the department store, became flaneur-ing his object of investigation. The shopping mall „Alexa“ due to its appearance is known as „the pharaos sarcophagus“ among Berliners. The much debated art-deco-facade clearly refers to arcades.

We want to follow Benjamin’s example. Which other references can we investigate flaneur-ing? What could be the meaning of this shopping mall’s spatial setup beyond aesthetical aspects? What was the meaning of „Barbie’s Dream House“ that got constructed for only one summer in Alexa’s backyard? What does a Berlin-City-model in a simulated city tell us about urbanity? Can we become friendly with all the window shoppers there?

Berlin-based artist Mirja Reuter is going to share her knowledge about the interface between flaneur-ing investigation and artistic production with us, as well as her „Alexa-fanaticism“.

(Teachers: Sam Chermayeff & Tobias Hönig; Guest: Mirja Reuter / 15 Students max.)


Enrollment is open now !
Students who are interested, kindly join the elective group link :