virgil b/g taylor
zur Entwicklung der Jüdenstraße
4 February 23, 8 pm, Doors open 7 pm
Location: KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Studio.
Guest curator: Katherine Adams
virgil b/g taylor’s zur Entwicklung der Jüdenstraße (zEdJ) (Toward the Development of Jüdenstraße) centers on Jüdenstraße in Berlin-Mitte, a central intersection of Berlin and one of its oldest streets. Now the focus of a recent development plan aiming to urbanize the area, Jüdenstraße bears the same name and physical scope it has had since the 13th century. The street’s longstanding name remains an artifact of its historical position as the threshold of Berlin’s earliest Jewish community, who were ghettoized along this street in the Groß Jüdenhof. In zEdJ, Taylor traces the areas encompassed by the street, viscerally entering the various time-frames it projects forward into the present and inhabiting the physical confluence it has come to suggest. Underlying his inquiry is a question around the connective tissues that appear to stabilize an urban commons. How do city infrastructures—and symbolic sedimentations achieved through naming—create the impression of a smooth, uncontested flow of shared history into the contemporary moment? As zEdJ suggests, such an impression is fragile—but even where a symbolic name creates false unity, the street continually generates its own social forms.
This event unfolds as a hybrid program, interlacing the screening of a new video by taylor with a reading of a text composed for this new work. The space of the KW studio is activated so as to situate viewers in an unstable and ambiguous time caught between development and demolition. The event learns from the precedent of the artist’s Study Object Room format, a discursive framework and performative research practice which brings together collective annotations in real time to process an object of study. Here, this object of study is historic Mitte, extending from its oldest routes.