An artist is trying to exorcise the spirit of al Qaeda from the German apt where Mohammed Atta lived:
- Stephan Hoffstadt, the Berlin-based artist, said his aim was to bring normality back to the four-room flat at Marienstrasse 54 in southern Hamburg, which has been unoccupied since the attacks.
Hoffstadt’s “Marienstrasse 54 Space Cleaning” temporary exhibition features video displays of normal life in the area, shadows of people painted on the wall and photos of onlookers.
Hoffstadt told Reuters TV: “Everyone has been affected, but it’s a perfectly normal area with regular people…. The longer this flat stays empty the longer it will remain an open wound. We want to open it and bring it back to the community.”
The first-floor apartment housed Mohammed Atta — whom U.S. authorities have said was the suicide pilot of the first hijacked plane to hit the World Trade Center — and others in the cell he led.
The monthly rent would normally be 500 euros, but there were no takers wanting to live in the apartment.
Does art have the power to purge such a foul karmic residue? Perversely, eventually it may be “cool” to live there. Trent Reznor lived for a time in a Manson murder house in LA.
The question of personal aura or residue came up in the Kurt Cobain house sale recently as well.