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September 2020
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Whatchamacallit 47: Brandenburg Tor in a brush

Brandenburg Tor

I rarely like authentic imitations of famous landmarks – rather I prefer things that take the mickey out of serious real life objects – it took me years in Weimar before I found the perfect trinket (object of art) to represent the city. That’s an object for another day.

This is an object that aims squarely at Berlin and its Brandenburg Tor.

The brush normally sits on a shelf in my kitchen along side other Brandenburg Tor shaped things – each one bringing a smile to me for a different reason. This one is absurd in that it can never actually be used as a brush, rather it just abstracts out to just the most important aspects of the gate: the 12 columns forming six passageways, the horizontal structure across the top, all crowned by a hard wire brush Quadriga.

It is perfect.

In spring 2015, I found the object walking down Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg – catching it out of the corner of my eye, then having to double-back to stop and stare in the shop window.

The shop was DIM Ladencafé, part of the Union Sozialer Einrichtungen, a company that has a very strong social mission to incorporate disabled and disadvantaged people into its workplace.

At the time I bought a number of these brushes, along with some of their other merchandise, giving them away to friends that I was visiting. This is the one example that remains, sitting along side other Brandenburg Tors in my kitchen.

This is probably the best one in my collection – I don’t want to spoil the others because it is only the 47th Whatchamacallit and I fear I have many, many more to go.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

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