Julie Rafalski

A Train Station and Neon

On an August afternoon in Berlin at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum I came across a neon piece by Dan Flavin.

As the name reflects, this museum was once a train station and one can imagine the outlines of trains fitting perfectly within it's main hall.
In one section of the building, there is a seemingly endless corridor along which are now gallery spaces, one of which contains The Garden Sculpture by Dieter Roth, an ever-changing work made of plants, broken-up sheds, watering cans, wooden planks, cages, TV monitors, carpets, work benches, real rabbits, wheelbarrows, and many other items which continue to be added or taken away over the years by the gallery staff, or so I read somewhere but now can't verify this information.

The architecture of the entrance hallway and adjoining spaces still remembers the times when it was part of a train station. There is a small passageway above the entrance door, where the station clock must once have hung. The now non-existent clock counts the minutes.

In an adjoining room, the floor over which once so many passengers' feet and suitcases had traversed, now only reflects the departures and arrivals of museum visitors, the general museum stillness, and four neon tubes intersecting another four of a Flavin neon piece.

Flavin's Ghost
C-prints on dibond