Writing on the Wall



Shimon Attie, 1992. Photograph: Slide Projection of Police Raid on former Jewish Residents.
Places and Sites Public Realm Urban
Commissions Artist-led
Material and Skills Digital Film Installation Sound Sculpture


In the early 1990s, Shimon Attie came to Berlin in search of information about his Jewish heritage. After visiting the Jewish quarter, the Scheunenvierrrtel, located in the eastern part of the city, it was clear that there was very little evidence of the once prominent working-class Jewish area. The Jewish quarter had been a centre for eastern European Jewish immigrants from the turn of the century, however, since the fall of the Berlin Wall it had been rapidly gentrified, and the build environment transformed.

This installation projected pre-world war II photographs of Jewish shops, people, and community life onto existing buildings. The projections were then photographed and displayed.

Attie’s work is concerned with memory, in particular collective memory. He examines how place, memory, and identity are intertwined and through his projections he is able to “[peel] back the wallpaper of today to reveal the histories buried underneath”.

Shimon Attie, 1992. Photograph: Slide Projection of former Religious book salesman.

Shimon Attie, 1992. Photograph. Slide Projection of former religious book salesman

Shimon Attie, 1992. Photograph: Slide Projection of former Jewish Resident.

Shimon Attie, 1992. Photograph. Slide Projection of former jewish resident

Shimon Attie, 1992. Photograph: Slide Projection of former kosher butter shop.

Shimon Attie, 1992. Photograph. Slide Projection of former Kosher butcher shop.

Shimon Attie, 1992. Photograph: Slide Projection of former Hebrew Bookstore.

Shimon Attie, 1992. Photograph. Slide Projection of former Hebrew Bookstore.