Through his structural intervention, Reusch creates a worthy opposite for the sacred ark that is both contemporary and, due to its plinth, on a level with it, and whose significance – like that of the torah ark – transcends the narrow limits of functional use. Although the Plexiglas structure circumscribes an interior sphere, the slightly elevated room, fringed by dark granulate, ultimately admits no one. Even as he marks this as an ideal place for reflection, Reusch robs us of the illusion of a direct confrontation, interaction or contact with the creed or culture of the victims. For if you enter the synagogue, the mentioned Plexiglas construction actually blocks the view of the torah ark, not least because Reusch painted it in a dark hue. Transparent only at its bottom, the fingerprints of the paint coat become denser as you gaze upward toward a smoke-blackened overall form.It is remindful of soot and commemorates the victims, counting in the millions, that stand between us and the holocaust survivors, between us and our own Jewish-German history.Their impenetrable shadow separates past and present, and thus traces a demarcation line in German history.Like a death mask, the dark Plexiglas shape covers the one remaining symbol of the Jewish faith, the torah ark, illuminated by a single powerful light bulb that seems like a profane equivalent of the sanctuary lamp common in synagogues.
In the dark, it projects the unsteady shadows of the dark paint on the Plexiglas onto the cleanly restored walls.Like a Mene Tekel, these shadow silhouettes outline a bizarre and non-objective dance of death on the walls of the synagogue whose effect is enhanced by the acoustic background underlying the installation as a whole.1