Thursday, 19 March 2009

Lost Postcards: Berlin 2008

We lose things all the time when we are not careful, loose bits of paper, notes, even keys and other valuable items - some we find again and others are lost never to be rediscovered. But how do we react when we find something of someone else's? And if that something asks you, an unknown, unconnected 'finder' to do something do we respond as we are requested, or not?

This short project explores public spaces and places in Berlin and the people who use them by leaving postcards around the city to be found by passers by. The cards are pre-addressed and stamped and carry with a short statement encouraging the finder to participate in the process by writing or drawing on the card, and then putting it in a postbox to return it to me.

This has developed from a similar project I completed in Venice in October 2007. For Berlin, the cards all start with the same message, the only one that got a response in Venice: "I am lost". They have been extended to try to encourage people to participate by also explaining that the card is part of a book, each card is uniquely numbered one to twenty-four.

The cards are shown below:

Card 21, shown above, returned to the UK with me in my bag having forgotten to 'lose' it at the airport as I had planned. It is the one that didn't get away!

The places these cards were left are listed below, numbered by page. Text in orangeshows which cards have been received to date.See: Found Postcards - Berlin 2008. 

  1. On top of a perspex display case showing a model of the shopping centre at Potsdamer Platz inside the shopping mall
  2. In the postcard rack at Begus shop along Eberstrasse
  3. On top of a block at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe at the eastern end of the Tiergarten
  4. Outside the Savoy Hotel on Fasanstrasse, leaning against the trunk of the small bush
  5. Under the door of the Theatre des Westens on Kantstrasse
  6. On the window ledge of the Zoo Souvenir gift shop near to the Zoologischer Garten U-bahn stop
  7. On the shelf of a ticket machine, under the camera in the tunnel walk at Stadt Mitte. U2/U6 connection
  8. Swapped for a shopping list left slotted into a bracket on the fence at the bb5 Skulpturenpark near to Killian Ruthemann, Stripping on Beuthstrasse
  9. Lying on a girder which was part of the supporting structure for the Luciana Lamothe work at bb5 at the junction of Seydelstrasse and Neue Grunstrasse
  10. In the right hand section of a wooden drawer which was part of the work of Caner Aslan, Joke Posters & Tip Posters,Neue Grunstrasse
  11. In a typewriter between the 'Damen' and 'Herren' doors of the public toilets near to Checkpoint Charlie on Zimmerstrasse, by the 'big balloon'
  12. On a shelf in Bob (Boxoffberlin) shop on Zimmerstrasse, near where we sat for our drinks
  13. Behind another postcard in the shop postcard rack at the Hamburger Bahnhof Art Gallery on Invalidenstrasse
  14. Left in the stand the holds the drinks mats and menus at Quasimodo on the next table to where we were sitting. Quasimodo is Berlin's oldest jazz club, situated on Kanstrasse, near the Zoo
  15. On the edge of a flower box outside the Gucci shop on Kurfurstendamm
  16. In a perspex leaflet container attached to the window of the jewellers Georg Spreng on Kurfurstendamm
  17. Under a hat in NoaNoa, a clothes shop near the junction of Kurfurstendamm and Fasanenstrasse
  18. On the Givenchy counter at KaDeWe, the famous old shop on Tauentzienstrasse
  19. On the glass display shelf at Skunkfunk clothes shop on Alte Schonhauserstrasse in Prenzlauer-Berg
  20. On the shelf with the newspapers and magazines at Caffe Hausse on Alte Schonhauserstrasse, near the door onto the street
  21. Inadvertantly returned to the UK with me
  22. Left under a book on the window shelf in the Ronan Ondak gallery showingMeasuring the Universe, opposite Bob, on Zimmerstrasse
  23. Down the side of the seat in Restaurant Sara Weiner at the Hamburger Bahnhof Art Gallery on Invalidenstrasse
  24. On the seat of the U-Bahn U2 to Penkow, at Stadtmitte Station

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