Art of the East German Uprising

As Stalin grew ever more paranoid and unpredictable in the final months of his life, the ailing dictator demanded that Walter Ulbricht’s Communist government in the German Democratic Republic consolidate its control over the country by intensifying the process of Sovietization. In the summer of 1952, land confiscations, tax hikes, and a public pay freeze […]

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Monument to Syria in a Divided Dresden

The row of three upended buses facing the Frauenkirche in central Dresden appears at odds with the elaborate stone building. What could these dirty, disused vehicles have in common with a marvel of 18th-century architecture? But nothing is quite as it seems and, in many ways, these objects hold a mirror to one another, across time and distance. On the morning of 15 February 1945, seventy-two years … Continue reading Monument to Syria in a Divided Dresden

What & Where: The Guard Who Jumped the Berlin Wall

What: Florian and Michael Brauer and Edward Anders, Mauerspringer (Walljumper), 2009 Where: Brunnenstraße, Berlin, Germany In June 2009, a few months prior to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new sculpture appeared on the streets of the German capital. Mauerspringer (Walljumper) by Florian and Michael Brauer and Edward Anders depicts a life-sized East German border guard named Conrad Schumann, in … Continue reading What & Where: The Guard Who Jumped the Berlin Wall

Exhibitions of the Month: From Germany to Lenin

This month sees the closure of the British Museum’s chronicle of Germany, timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Germany: Memories of a Nation is an ambitious retrospective, attempting to tell 600 years of history through objects in a single room. The country’s difficult Cold War history, divided between the Soviet-backed German Democratic Republic and the Westernised Federal … Continue reading Exhibitions of the Month: From Germany to Lenin

Featured Artist: Thierry Noir

On 9 November 2014 the world looked back to the momentous day, 25 years earlier, when the Wall came down. French street artist Thierry Noir is credited as the first person to paint on the Berlin Wall, in April 1984. Noir had moved to the west side of the city two years earlier and was living in a squat that overlooked the infamous crossing. Saddened … Continue reading Featured Artist: Thierry Noir

What & Where: The East German Surveillance Station in Los Angeles

What: Christoph Zwiener, ADN Pfoertnerhaus (ADN Guard House) Where: 9300 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, LA – until 2 November 2014 To mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, Los Angeles is the temporary home of a GDR surveillance booth. German artist Christof Zwiener has reimagined the 1970s guardhouse as an art installation, with the 2 by 1 … Continue reading What & Where: The East German Surveillance Station in Los Angeles

Exhibition of the Month: Degenerate Art

While focusing on a notorious exhibition which pre-dated the Cold War by a decade, Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937 at the Neue Galerie in New York helps to contextualise the complex politics of art that arose after World War II. Soon after the Nazi Party seized control in Germany, it launched a virulent attack on the visual arts. The drive to remove ‘subversive’ elements in German art culminated … Continue reading Exhibition of the Month: Degenerate Art