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James Turell

Light Installation in the Dorotheenstädtischer Cemetery

Every large city has a cemetery for its famous sons and daughters. In Berlin, it is the Dorotheenstädtische cemetery on Chausseestrasse. The grave stones and memorial plaques here read like a "Who's Who" of the intellectual elite of Germany. Since 2016, a minor sensation has been hiding in the hitherto inconspicuous cemetery chapel. A generous private donation by a Berlin citizen has enabled the installation of an art feature created by US light artist James Turrell.

Light, pure light

James Turrell (b 1943) is one of the most important artists of our time. His entire oeuvre focuses on the exploration of the many facets of natural and artificial light. He penetrates to the limits of perception. In his light rooms, the architecture seems dematerialised and relieved of its severity, and the visitor instantly experiences the presence of pure light. Turrell's work in the Dorotheenstädtischer cemetery chapel is especially tuned to the time the sun sets. 

From Fridays to Sundays, the light installation is accessible as part of a public guided tour. 

The "Who's Who" of the intellectual elite

During the day, the Dorotheenstädtische cemetery offers a walk through the intellectual history of Germany. Examples of those buried in Berlin's famous celebrity cemetery are the philosophers Hegel and Fichte, writers Bertolt Brecht, Heinrich Mann, Johannes R. Becher, Arnold Zweig and Anna Seghers, director Heiner Müller, architects Stüler and Schinkel, artist John Heartfield, actress Helene Weigel and former Federal President Johannes Rau.

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