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By Walther Rathenau

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30 13 The Bauhaus in Dessau - the city still wrecked and shattered, patchworked together from pastel colours and the indelible marks of ferocious blasts of fire; a city at odds, with irregular tenements posed over wastelands as its heart. Abandoned villas, dirt-tracks and derelict neon signs lie around the Bauhaus, while the surrounding area transforms itself frenetically. Those changes compact and give endurance to the density and transparency of the building. The arrangement of the city falls as random debris around its unique component, the Bauhaus, the power of which generated outwards, expanded, multiplied and distorted itself across the cities of Europe: their housing blocks, government buildings, supermarkets, cinemas.

Across the face of Europe, these monuments are interchangeable markings, random features. Only with their obsolescence do they become spontaneously integrated into the European city. 21 The transformation of the European city: while the eye of the viewer is absent, the city metamorphoses jarringly. It collects itself in new masses, expels itself into new wastelands; when the absent eye focuses on it again, the city has suffered a jumpcut on a vast, metropolitan scale. The aim of its transformation is to erode recognition, to create friction against fixity; then that aim itself erodes.

All children of the European city desire an instant of life, desire some kind of explosion that will create its sign - a sign that may be as futile and banal as it is desperate, but a sign which will always be miraculously readable and immediate in the mass of the city. 12 Demolition: the transformation of the city is a ·restless process of negation. When the city is settled, an atmosphere of congelation rises to the surface, tempting acts of aggression against the city. The city is perpetually invested with a dynamic jarring and upheaval of its configuration.

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