Robert Partridge

Encounter

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‘There is no longer any

world: no longer a mundus,

a cosmos, a composed and

complete order from within

which one might find a place,

a dwelling, and the elements

of an orientation.’1

My intention is to reflect the

difficulties of orientation in a

place in which all is illusory

and in which time is seemingly

both suspended and

accounted for. It is a place

separate and separated from

the city, although elements of 

a commercial façade persuade

the traveller that ease

of travel and the accoutrements

of glamour and indulgence

are co-respondents in

the exchanges of space and

place, reality and fiction.

My experience of Tegel at

night in a furious rainstorm

emphasised the completeness

of isolation as the weather

forced travellers to abandon

their self- reliance and subject

themselves to the glossy polished interior of this capsulelike structure.

In this space, navigation

becomes less idyllic, and

fragmented. Memories of

the everyday, the functional,

and the ‘already happened’

reconstruct the dreams in

which ‘joy has no more sense

than suffering’.2 In this place,

one is aware of the ‘excess

of time’,3 the possibilities

of disappointment and the

paradox of recognition in our

developing perceptions. How

is reality encountered in this

shifting space?

In Tegel one narrative contests

another as they struggle to

gain consciousness and orientation.

Space becomes place

and place in turn unfolds

space. This is the world of

sense and possibility, Tegel is

but one locus in the nodal and

labyrinthine that extends the

singular through experience,

encounter and memory.

1 Jean-Luc Nancy, The Sense of the

World, trans. by J.S. Librett, Minneapolis:

University of Minnesota

Press, 1997, p. 4.

2 Nancy, The Sense of the World,

p. 150.

3 Marc Augé [1992], Non-Places:

Introduction to an Anthroplogy of

Supermodernity, trans. by John

Howe, London and New York: Verso,

1995, p. 30.