The walk moves toward the Alexanderplatz, following the narrative path of Alfred Döblin’s novel Berlin Alexanderplatz.
This is one of my favorite books. The prose is a montage of multiple point of views, featuring sound effects, newspaper articles, weather forecasts, among others. In a kind of performative reenactment, I used these elements to accompany the audience around the contemporary places, complementing the original text with recent events that happened in the surrounding area.
The novel, written in 1929, describes a social context which is incredibly similar to the current situation. Violence, poverty, the heterogeneous crowd, hustle and bustle, criminality, urban development or, to look at things from another point of view, urban gentrification, death and the feeling of a big city, are present both in the fiction and in our reality.
We walk from west from the Rotes Rathaus to the slaughterhouse – or is it a library? or a bank? – and then east, to the police station. We hear old Berliner music while Franz Biberkopf sell us the Mottenpost where we read the story of Jonny K., beaten to death in 2012.