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Haunting Gas Chamber Replica Remembers the Holocaust’s Horrors

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John Henderson
Jun 07, 2016 16:53
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The stark-white plaster casts of work—on display at the Venice Architectural Biennale as The Evidence Room —does more than just make visitors uncomfortable though it does that, too .

Lipstadt s 1994 book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory featured Irving s revisionist interpretation of the era.

In order to fight Irving s lawsuit, Lipstadt had to prove that the Holocaust did, indeed, happen.

Van Pelt, along with other professors and students from the University of Waterloo, used that evidence to reconstruct full-scale replicas of a gas column, a gas door, and a gas-tight hatch.

It s a perfect example of the unflinching tone Alejandro Aravena, the latest winner of architecture s prestigious Pritzker Prize and the director of this year s Biennale, is urging architects to adopt in facing difficult issues.

It is a profound experience for all of us, said van Pelt in a statement, and, in design terms, a radical, unprecedented investigation into the possibility to represent something unrepresentable: the architectural evidence of a factory of death.

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John Henderson
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