By Charles W. Haxthausen, Suhr Heidrum
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Extra info for Berlin: Culture and Metropolis (Cultural Studies)
The street separated from the sidewalk by a curb conducts wagons; the sidewalk, pedestrians; trains run along the elevated tracks supported by a viaduct that allows for underpassage. The firewall that closes off the background thoroughly hinders the spread of fires, and the fence dividing the lot not only demarcates property, it also reserves and protects this parcel of remnant nature. The signature of laws, ordinances, and deeds is evident in this setting. 5 Pictures of a City at Work 7 Each of the functional compartments demarcated in the cityscape has a set of distinct signs related to a relatively closed system of communications.
By the Old Savings Bank presents the viewer at first with the simple configuration of large curvilinear tugboats set slightly askew against the strict rectilinearity of the edifice behind them, a bank whose lower floors in socalled Normanic style date from 1838. Crowded at the center by this juxtaposition, the print has been left incomplete at its edges. Furthermore, as a comparison with photographs of the same location shows, the horizontal extension of the bank has been compressed by reducing the number of bays in its facade, and the riverbank on the left has been foreshortened and made to bend more sharply than in reality.
28 The movement of these modern urban types is calibrated by the intervals in the railing beside them and channeled between the edge of the walkway and line of the horizon. They are profiled against and contained within an industrial setting that is their place of work. Their execution in broken contours, loose brush strokes, and earth colors blend them into that workscape and make them appear indigenous to it, inseparable from it. Only a sideward glance by the woman suggests any other awareness and separation from the routines of urban and industrial time and place.