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the latest publication at hatje cantz, kleihues+kleihues‘s photo documentation of their clinically precise construction of the headquarters of germany’s federal intelligence service bnd allows a glimpse into a sterile world most of mankind shall and will never see from up close. it is a perfect paradoxon which is also, quite clearly, well aware of its character and the limitations it carries…

the aesthetic of the invisible once practiced has quite naturally become an aesthetic of making visible. yet here, too, the apparently incompatible arises: […] while normally an attempt is made, particularly in the city, to create as much permeability as possible […] in order to intermesh a building with public space, in the case of the bnd it was necessary to keep the building nearly free of openings.

bnd – die zentrale, therefore, is as much about what we don’t see, its selection of pictures a negative representation of all that shall remain secret. it makes for a cold viewing experience – yet for an excellent mindbender…

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