Julie Rafalski

Looking Backward

The backward look is always mediated - whether through cassette tapes, videos, photographs, texts or through individuals' memory.

And yet sometimes it is only through gaining a distance from events that we can see them more clearly and/or create a meaning for them. Distance means a reconfiguration of details and events where some are lost or marginalised while others come to the forefront and are connected to make a meaning.

So the backward look is at the same time a obfuscation as well as an enlightenment of the past.

Looking back also puts the present on hold, as we look into the kaleidoscope of time past.

The piece Palast, by Tacita Dean is a short film showing an close up of the window reflections in the Palast Der Republik, (Palace of the Republic). This building, in former East Berlin, served as a seat of the German Democratic Republic parliament. In this piece, the tinted mirror-windows of this building from another era depict the reflections of the Berlin of 2004. At the time of it's making the building was still standing in Berlin. Since then it has been torn down and an empty square left in its place.