The wall is gone, a few lighted candles to comemorate and to take farewell from a symbol.

Photo: Rafał Żwirek

Artist Nada Prlja has agreed to dismantle her artwork “Peace Wall” on the Southern part of Friedrichstraße on June 15, 2012. The “Peace Wall” – 12 meters wide and 5 meters high – crosses both lanes of the road. The artistic work realized in the framework of the 7th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art points at social inequalities in the quarter of Südliche Friedrichstadt as well as at economic and political processes in this urban redevelopment area. The "Peace Wall" creates the opportunities for the residents to actively take part in the processes in their district. This is how the curators of the 7th Berlin Biennale and the artist see the role of art: to act in society, to engage in the public realm, to assist on-going social processes.


Originally, the artwork was planned to be dismantled after the end of the 7th Berlin Biennale on July 1, 2012. An application of urgency to dismantle the wall earlier was rejected by the district council of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg on May 23, 2012.


During the last days, the artwork has been violently attacked. Furthermore, the artist has been attacked verbally.


That the reactions have been directed against the temporary artwork and the artist in such an unanticipated degree, indicates to the dimension of local disappointment and indignation – appearently the wall has become a surrogate of the very conditions it criticizes. However, even if it is seen as impertinent by many local traders and residents, the wall contributes by a remarkable media presence (e.g. in ZDF "heute nacht" from June 5, 2012) and an increased communication in the area to a collective verbalization, a development of solidarity between the residents, and an ability to address issues with the district mayor Franz Schulz.


As a response to the dialogue with the traders and residents the artist agrees to dismantle the ‘wall’ earlier than planned. Nada Prlja will continue her work on location during the next days and will be available at the “Peace Wall” and in the area to discuss issues with the residents.


“The wall will be dismantled but the problems in this area will remain. I hope that in the last days a constructive dialogue with the inhabitants will take place, in order to make audible also the voices of those who do not have a lobby in the quarter. At the end of the 7th Berlin Biennale this document of ‘silent voices’ will be represented to the responsible authorities,” states Nada Prlja.

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10th Berlin Biennale