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Deutsches Technikmuseum - Beyond the blinds

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:

Stiftung

The donation contains six locations:

Photo: A look into an abandoned chemistry lab with workstations and experiment set-ups.

"Mutism": Former student workstations in the Institute of Pharmacology

Photo: The staircase in the Robert-Koch-Forum with wooden columns and wrought-iron railings.

"Échappée": The staircase in the Robert-Koch-Forum

Photo: View across a workstation with experiment set-ups through two windows to the opposite building.

"Silent Poetry": Laboratory workstations from a different perspective

Photo: View through an open doorway: Floral tiles decorate the dark hallway of the old part; everything is smooth and new in the new.

"Boundaries ": The borders between the newly renovated and old sections of the building are clearly visible.

Beyond the blinds

Photographs by Amaury Wenger

Permanent gallery on the technical history of photography

6 May to 2 August 2015

Photo: View of the wood-panelled lecture hall with surrounding gallery and large skylight.

The Robert-Koch Auditorium: The lecture hall, however, did not feature the famous lecture of its namesake.

Work stations in abandoned laboratories, an imposing auditorium devoid of students, a vast library bare of books:

In September 2013, the architectural photographer Amaury Wenger was given the opportunity of documenting the Robert-Koch-Forum – a university teaching and research establishment since 1875 and of historic interest – before the new owners moved into the premises on Dorotheenstraße in Berlin-Mitte.

Beyond the blinds is a collection of 17 selected photographs using a sequence of remarkable vantage points to take the observer on a journey back in time through the venerable and abandoned building.

The German physician Robert Koch held his famous lecture on the discovery of the tuberculosis pathogen here in 1882, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1905.

Photo: View into the old library with bare floor-to-ceiling wooden bookshelves.

"Invisible Books": The old library of the Institute of Pharmacology after the move – deserted yet still alive.

A journey into the past

Wenger succeeds in capturing the fading traces of the past in a way that brings the visions to life in the mind of the beholder and – virtually single-handedly – reveal their history.

Inspiring the visitor to flights of fancy, the atmospheric presentation of different photo formats provides a glimpse into the forgotten mood of the erstwhile laboratories: Photos lie on three old experiment tables almost like preparations awaiting analysis under the microscope.

Fitting together like the pieces of a puzzle, further detailed shots give a personal reflection of the place.

Curriculum Vitae

Amaury Wenger, born in Paris in 1987, has lived and worked in Berlin since 2010. Parallel to reading architecture in France and Germany, he specialised in photographing construction sites and abandoned places. His report on the Maison de Radio France construction site in Paris was subsequently exhibited at the 55th International Art Exhibition in Venice. The artist is currently working on a project featuring modern architecture in European ports.

"Pills & Pipettes"

Our "Pills & Pipettes" exhibition in the same building adds a further topical dimension. Using the history of the Berlin company Schering as background, the exhibition introduces the working techniques and resources of laboratories, the diverse range of chemical products and the foundations of the pharmaceutical industry.

Header photo: "Wiped out": A large, bright, empty assay room on the 2 floor

© All Photos Amaury Wenger