»Allies in Berlin – the architectural heritage«
»Alliierte in Berlin – das Architekturerbe«
From June 2, 2022 to January 31, 2023, the Military History Museum of the Bundeswehr Airfield Berlin-Gatow (MHM Gatow) is showing the extended photo exhibition “Allies in Berlin – The Architectural Heritage” by the Berlin architectural photographer Mila Hacke.
In two large rooms in the Tower building, the exhibition presents large-format photos of Allied buildings, pointing to architectural icons and unknown gems. The special new buildings of the military infrastructure of the Allies in the city of Berlin included cultural buildings, on the one hand to bring American culture closer to the German population, and on the other hand libraries, cinemas and theaters for the Allied soldiers and their families, such as the Dramatic Theater built in 1949 Karlhorst. Schools, sports facilities and churches were also built for the partly self-sufficient settlements of the Western Allies. The military infrastructure of the four powers also included an airport, military train stations, barracks, military training areas – of which only a few examples are shown in the “highlight show” of the photo exhibition. The photos show the architectural legacy of the Allies from today’s perspective in reunified Berlin.
The photographer’s precise view presents a world of varied architecture from cultural buildings to infrastructure buildings. Mila Hacke’s architecture photos are clear, colorful and put the architecture on the stage. Since she has been promoting her artistic research since 2008 with a number of exhibitions and smaller, funded photo and research projects, we also see demolished buildings and large panoramas in all seasons in the exhibition.
The exhibition begins with the former four headquarters, the air security center of the Four Powers, the Allied Command and today’s Russian Embassy. Even if the exhibition focuses on architecture, it also uses this approach to convey the political and historical situation at the time it was created during the Cold War. Architecture can be a means of demonstrating power and propaganda, and its style can convey social ideals such as transparency and cosmopolitanism. However, architecture can also be reinterpreted and offers the possibility of using it differently or even with the same usage concept under changed political conditions.
“Architecture offers a door to visit and a gateway to history,” is how the architectural photographer Mila Hacke describes the motto of her commitment to architecture as a cultural heritage. “I use photography as a medium for research! This allows me to artistically intuitively turn on the filter of translation from 3D reality to two-dimensional interpretation. In the focused image, I can show references through the dialogue with other buildings I have photographed and archive photos from the construction period.”
The architectural photographer and curator of the photo exhibition Mila Hacke has initiated the website www.karlshorst-tour.kulturring.berlin together with the Kulturring Berlin and has drafted – in cooperation with the Militärhistorischen Museum Flugplatz Berlin-Gatow, the Alliierten Museum and the Museum Karlshorst – a handout for each of these three historical locations created, which visitors can take away in the exhibition.
Supplement”Airports of the Allies” to the exhibition with archive film and radio listening stations as part of the TRIENNALE DER MODERNE
The Military History Museum of the Bundeswehr Airfield Berlin-Gatow (MHM Gatow) has been showing the photo exhibition »Allies in Berlin – the architectural heritage« by the Berlin architectural photographer Mila Hacke since June 2022. From October 2022, audio stations with radio archive voices and an accompanying film without sound with recordings from the state and federal archives will supplement the exhibition and bring the Berlin airports to life.
Allied air sovereignty meant that all flights in and over Berlin had to be approved by the Four Powers until reunification in 1990. In West Berlin, Tegel Airport (TXL) and Tempelhof Airport (THF), only Allied airlines could land, while the GDR operated the central airport Schönefeld (SXF) south of its capital Berlin and this also became a popular airport for West Berliners developed for targets in the Eastern Bloc. US President Harry S. Truman and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill landed in Gatow for the 1945 Potsdam Conference listening stations and archive films.
Tuesday, August 30, 20222
Guest of the Talk “THADEUSZ und die Künstler” (approx. from min 21:30 – 33:00).
The Military History Museum of the Bundeswehr Airfield Berlin-Gatow (formerly Air Force Museum) is the only aviation museum in Germany on a listed airfield. Although the airfield was downsized in 1999, all the important areas and buildings of the former military airfield have been preserved and the entire barracks complex, including the airfield, is a listed building.
The museum at Gatow airfield focuses on aerial warfare as the most recent form of military violence. The history of technology is understood as part of cultural history and the focus is on people in their various roles.
At the historic site, knowledge and stories from over 120 years of military aviation and air warfare come to life – told from multiple perspectives, critically and with many personal references. This also includes the history of the airfield, which is now a listed monument, from the National Socialist Air War School to the Cold War and the stationing of the Royal Air Force. Gatow Airfield is closely linked to the Berlin Airlift.
Since 1994, the site has been available to the museum for one of the world’s largest, cross-block collections of aerial warfare resources from the Cold War era.
The exhibition “Allies in Berlin – The Architectural Heritage” was shown for the first time in the Urania Berlin for the EMOP Photo Festival 2020 (European Month of Photography) and was only open to the public for one week due to the closure of the cultural and event scene in Berlin.
Mila Hacke – Architekturfotografin
Mila Hacke, Arch., MA. Arch., architectural photographer and curator, has been dealing with the architecture and building history of post-war modernism and the Allies in Berlin for many years. She has been a member of N-AILS, ICOMOS, KulturerbeNetz.Berlin since 2021 and was a founding board member of the Federal Association of Architectural Photography BVAF from 2018-2022. She was nominated for the Berlin Europa-Ehrenamtspreis 2020 and for two art prizes in 2021: Finalist Luxembourg Art Prize and Annual Photography Awards, Architecture.
Since 2008, Mila Hacke has been promoting her artistic research project on the architectural legacy of the Allies in Berlin through individually funded research and exhibitions. She combines the latest photos from Karlshorst with her architectural photos from “Revisited – Allied Locations” in the Allied Museum (2010/2011) and her own exhibition initiative “Gifts from the Americans” (2009), which is shown not only in the Amerika Haus but also at the Freie Universität Berlin and could be seen at Tempelhof Airport. In her work, she combines intensive research with an intoxicating feeling for architecture and its pictorial value. This is how funded projects such as “Photography of the French settlements Cités” (2019 ECHY), “Photos of the British housing program Westend” (2017) or the archival research in building file archives of the districts for the project “Settlements of the Western Allies” are created.
Framework program by MHM Gatow
Thursday, June 2, 2022, 5 – 7 pm
With food & drinks. Last admission at 5:30 pm.
Open tours and workshops
Program for schools funded by the project fund for cultural education
Dedicated project website
sponsored by the European Department of the Berlin Senate (Europaabteilung des Senats von Berlin).
from Oct 2, 2022
with archive film and radio listening stations on “Allied Airports” funded by the LOTTO Foundation Berlin as part of the Triennale der Moderne. Program (also see PDF below):
Oct 2, 11 am – 1:30 pm: Workshop architectural photography
Oct 2, 4 – 5:30 pm: Curator’s guided tour with Mila Hacke
Nov 4, 4 – 5:30 pm: Curator’s guided tour with Mila Hacke
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PiB Guide Nº51
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