Torwache, photo: Mathias Völzke

Today’s Torwache is the remnant of a palatial building plan cut short by the Napoleonic wars and invasions of the early nineteenth century. Designed by local architect Heinrich Christoph Jussow, best remembered for his work on the Schloss Wilhelmshöhe and its surrounding Bergpark, the two structures that together form the Torwache were conceived as a framing device connecting the Bergpark’s royal residence and strolling grounds with Kassel’s medieval city center. It crowns the grand vista afforded by Wilhelmshöher Allee—a view popular with the cream of Nazi Germany’s military crop, who dreamt up grand designs for the so-called Gauhauptstadt Kassel.

The Monument to the Victims of Fascism in Auschwitz-Birkenau by Oskar Hansen and paintings by Edi Hila inside the Torwache reflect upon the ideological knot of urban planning and the politics of axial organization. The exterior of the building is enveloped in an installation by Ibrahim Mahama, whose stitched jute sack collage recounts multiple histories of global trade, individual narrations of possession and dispossession, scars of a larger narrative of migration, as well as technologies of masking and camouflage.

Posted in Public Exhibition