Site Dedicated to the Active Effacement and Complete Disregard of History, 2013, Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, Berlin.
Photo credit for image 1: Samuel Kalika.
A temporary memorial site marked by a black plinth bearing the words “Zur aktiven Auslöschung und gänzlichen Missachtung der Geschichte / To the Active Effacement and Complete Disregard of History”. At the top of the plinth was a piece of grass taken from the carpark that now occupies a part of the former site of the Führerbunker.
The Berlin government placed this weed-filled carpark at the former Führerbunker site as a deliberate strategy to make a potential source of unwelcome memories anonymous and innocuous. As such, the grass from this carpark symbolises active attempts at forgetting.
The Site was opened by the artists with a short ceremony on the 24th of January, 2013. The monument, which had been draped in the Australian flag, was unveiled. The artists then read a short speech in English and German about Germany's attempts to shape new national identities for itself by covering over and removing certain reminders of its recent history from its urban environment. They also discussed the event of forgetting through which Australia was founded: the attempted effacement of Aboriginal culture by British settlement.
Amy and Catherine invited those present at the opening to mark collective forgetting by coming together at the Site on the 26th of January, 2013 for an Australia Day barbecue.