Salle des pas perdus

Sound, Walking Performance
Karlshorst Museum, Berlin

- 2023

Salle des pas perdus is a collaborative sound piece and walking performance made at The Berlin-Karlshorst Museum. The museum is located at the historical site of the unconditional surrender of the German armed forces (the Wehrmacht) on 8/9 May 1945. The audio recording is made by Masha Wysocka, who recorded the sound of my footsteps on the parquet floor of the main hall in the museum. It is in this room that Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France signed the German Instrument of Surrender. This document, also known as 'Unconditional Capitulation of the Wehrmacht,' formally ended World War II in Europe.

This project aims to render homage to millions of war victims. Its title, Salle des pas perdus, could be translated as 'The Room of the Lost Steps'. By recording the sound of footsteps, we wanted to remember the victims of the Second World War. We also are keen to draw attention to 'cracks in history' through the sound of the parquet's wooden structure as it fractures under the impact of walking. The parquet floor in this room is the only original feature remaining since the building has been renovated and modernised. Thus, it happens to be the only 'survived witness' to the unconditional surrender of the German armed forces.