Archive for Mai, 2012

“Battle of Berlin 1945″ – a documentation

Posted on: Mai 31st, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Video by Jacek Taszakowski

Battle of Berlin '45

Filmed documentation of re-enactments

After the fall of the Iron Curtain, some European nations felt the need to reinvent their identities. This always starts with a process of rewriting history. Nation-states have initiated a politics of history that shapes past events in a new way, often through education programs or the erecting of museums and monuments. Through such a politics based on the past, the narrative of the future is constructed.

One such example can be found in Poland, in the phenomenon of "people’s theater", groups who perform/re-enact historical events—usually battles. Real enthusiasts—dressed in costume, with vintage weapons and other military paraphernalia—participate in these events. Such re-enactments have become very popular and are supported by local authorities.

 

Even if these spectacles pretend to present history in an objective way, they nevertheless incite very emotional reactions from the public. Try to imagine that you are standing next to soldiers shooting at each other, watching executions and bloody battles—but you are safe. And after the spectacle, you might have the chance to make a souvenir snapshot with a soldier in an SS uniform.

 

The 7th Berlin Biennale has invited a few such amateur groups to stage a re-enactment of the Battle of Berlin 1945. This spectacular battle depicts the defeat of the capital of the Third Reich in April and May 1945 and Berlin’s final surrender. It takes place in public spaces in Berlin and Warsaw, and is re-staged by members of re-enactment groups from Poland representing the Red Army, Polish 1st Army, and German forces. The same scenario is performed in both cities and addressed to the broad public. Before the re-enactments take place, a trailer announcing the events can be seen in Deutschlandhaus; after the battles take place documentation of them is presented there. The re-enactments raise questions about the mechanisms of constructing the narrations of national identity of the two neighboring countries.

 

by Artur Żmijewski and Igor Stokfiszewski

 

Solidarity Action #3: CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART UJAZDOWSKI CASTLE

“Battle of Berlin ’45″ is a collaboration in solidarity with the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw. More >

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Deutschlandhaus

Stresemannstrasse 90, D-10963 BerlinMore >

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“Lebanese Flag” by Youseef, Ibrahim and Moussa Bassal

Posted on: Mai 31st, 2012 by Marta Gornicka
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Photo: Marta Gornicka

Lebanese Flag by Youseef, Ibrahim and Moussa Bassal

In cooperation with Lou Cantor

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Germany the Arab and Turkish population showed unprecedented support for the national soccer team by putting German flags on their cars, installing them at their home windows and in their businesses. The display of patriotic feelings was welcomed by the German government as a sign of "positive integration", while several anarchist magazines were denouncing these flags as "black, red, and gold rags". Some "anarchist commandos" even raided Arab and Turkish businesses in Berlin, either ripping down or burning the German flags.

 

Youssef Bassal, a German of Lebanese origin and owner of a mobile phone shop in the Berlin district of Neukölln, came with an idea of placing a huge tricolor as a sign of support for national eleven. Together with his brother Moussa, he hung a 25-meter long flag on the facade of their shop during the World Cup. The use of the German flag by Bassals, highly present in the media in 2010, was embraced by all spectrums of political discourses: by the mainstream politicians as a symbol of Germany as an immigrant country and its multiculturalism, by the angry radical left-wing as a encouragement for the national tendencies, by some parts of the Muslim population as a dubious conciliatory gesture, and finally by some right-wing Berliners who saw the flag as an appropriation of their symbol by others.

 

As the cultural and football events came together for UEFA's 2012 Europe Cup (with Kiev throwing its first international biennale in matching dates and Warsaw's MoMA presenting "New National Art" - an exhibition dedicated to off-art world artists displaying various aspects of patriotism), Lou Cantor invited Bassals for a cooperation. The reason for this was not only the symbolic potential of the events connected to the flag but also support for the attitude presented by Bassals, manifested by standing up to all consequences of artistic or political gesture.

More in Deutschlandhaus

“Lebanese Flag” by Youseef, Ibrahim and Moussa Bassal

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Germany the Arab and Turkish population showed unprecedented support for the national soccer team by putting German flags on their cars, installing... More >
“Lebanese Flag” by Youseef, Ibrahim and Moussa Bassal

Deutschlandhaus as Venue

Metaphorically speaking, Deutschlandhaus seems to be a container of repressed or excluded German memory. More >
Deutschlandhaus as Venue

Solidarity action: “Draftsmen’s Congress” in Rome

Posted on: Mai 30th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka
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Come round and draw

Solidarity action: "Draftsmen's Congress" in Rome

For the 7. Berlin Biennale, the curator Artur Żmijewski has created a political space in which to explore the effects of art in the society and the connections with today’s social and political situations.

 

In this setting, the Istituto Svizzero di Roma and other European art institutions that share this approach have been invited to activate “solidarity actions” in keeping with the theme of BB7, with the aim of making a network of organisms operating in different countries visible, in solidarity between them and with the Biennale.

 

From June 4 to July 20, in the context of the Solidarity Action undertaken by Istituto Svizzero di Roma, the Draftsmen’s Congress will be presented. Started by Paweł Althamer at the church of St. Elisabeth in Berlin Mitte for the 7th Berlin Biennale, the Congress brings together artists and the public in a dialogue that uses the language of images instead of words. Everyone is invited to take part in the discussion, by painting, making drawings with charcoal, through collage or other traditional techniques and materials, and to freely respond to timely questions connected with politics, the symbols of power, religion, economic crisis and more.

 

Paweł Althamer encourages people to discuss things in a free, honest way. They can do so with good manners or political incorrectness, they can be frustrated or indignant, and they can intervene in the drawings of others, in a true encounter and clash of images. Images that love each other, hate each other, shared opinions or claims. All the participants are urged to bring forth the truth and to openly state their case.

 

The Draftsmen’s Congress will happen in Rome in the inner courtyard and exhibition space of Istituto Svizzero di Roma at Via Liguria 20, and at ESC – Atelier Autogestito – Via dei Volsci 159. Both places will be set up to create a calm, relaxing atmosphere, to promote exchange of ideas, but at the same time to trigger lively discussion. The walls and floors of the two locations – covered with white surfaces – will become the backdrop on which the participants can freely draw. Many artists, illustrators, architects, designers, street artists and other professionals have already accepted our invitation to participate in the Congress. Non-professional draftsmen are also invited. In this project the status of the author, the hierarchy determined by expertise and all types of qualification are challenged in the unfolding of a process that attempts to illustrate excess, which as such is free and open to all.

During the months of June and July workshops and concerts will be organized, as well as gatherings conceived to generate non-verbal relations and communication between different social and cultural groups with opposing or simply different interests, beliefs and viewpoints. The use of visual language is democratized in a collective conversation that only appears to be perceptible as an exhibition.

 

Please visit http://www.solidarityaction.istitutosvizzero.it/?p=939&lang=en for more information.

 

Solidarity Action #1: Istituto Svizzero di Roma

Right from the start the Istituto Svizzero di Roma (Swiss Institute in Rome) decided that our gesture in solidarity with the 7th Berlin Biennale should not be limited to a single project, but should invest the entire life of our institution. [...]More >

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“Draftsmen’s Congress” initiated by Paweł Althamer

The “Draftsmen’s Congress” is a continuous meeting of people who talk using images instead of words. Everyone is invited to join the discussion through paint, charcoal, collage, and other traditional materials and techniques [...]More >

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12M march in Berlin

Posted on: Mai 30th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

12M march in Berlin on May 12

A video report by Rafał Żwirek

More information: http://12mai-berlin.org/sternmarsch/

“Peace Wall” by Nada Prlja

Posted on: Mai 27th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Peace Wall by Nada Prlja

Video by Lidia Rossner

“Peace Wall” by Nada Prlja

A wall is standing on Friedrichstrasse. Finally, we are on a way to establish peace. At the southern end of Friedrichstrasse in Berlin­ Kreuzberg, London-based artist Nada Prlja erects a “peace wall.” [...]More >

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“Urban Housewives Circle” in pictures

Posted on: Mai 27th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Urban Housewives Circle

Workshop by Joanna Świerczyńska

“Draftsmen’s Congress” initiated by Paweł Althamer

The “Draftsmen’s Congress” is a continuous meeting of people who talk using images instead of words. Everyone is invited to join the discussion through paint, charcoal, collage, and other traditional materials and techniques, and react to issues like current politics, symbols of power, religion, economic disasters [...]More >

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“Free Pussy Riot” Demonstration in Berlin

Posted on: Mai 25th, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Free Pussy Riot

A video report by Rafał Żwirek

Free Pussy Riot

The solidarity demonstration against repression in Russia and for the release of political prisoners with the motto Free Pussy Riot started at Neptunbrunnen (Alexanderplatz) on May 11, 2012 at 4 pm.More >

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CIVIL INITIATIVE FOR THE MEMORIAL TO THE SINTI AND ROMA MURDERED UNDER THE NATIONAL SOCIALIST REGIME

Posted on: Mai 23rd, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

CIVIL INITIATIVE FOR THE MEMORIAL TO THE SINTI AND ROMA MURDERED UNDER THE NATIONAL SOCIALIST REGIME

Demonstration on June 2, from 3 to 5 pm

The images were taken by Franziska Zahl and Artur Żmijewski in June 2011 and February 2012.

The citizen’s initiative Perspektive Berlin was established in West Berlin in 1988 in order to erect a memorial in Germany to the Jews murdered during the Holocaust. After the fall of the Wall the initiative started to be supported by the German government, and at the same time it changed its name to the Association for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. In 1999, parallel to the Association, the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was established, with the mission to build memorials to the other victims of the Nazi regime—homosexuals and the Roma and Sinti. Up to now the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Murdered under the National Socialist Regime still has not been built; it is an unfinished construction site in the Tiergarten between Brandenburger Tor and the Reichstag. Its construction only began in 2008 and was soon stopped because of conflict between Dani Karavan, the memorial’s designer, and the Berlin authority. The unfinished memorial was closed off by a fence and effectively forgotten.

 

by Artur Żmijewski and Zofia Waślicka

 

A Civil Initiative led by The Romani Elders and coordinated by the European Roma Cultural Foundation – ERCF advocates for the completion of the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Murdered under the National Socialist Regime. ERCF is committed to generating a wide network of Roma and non-Roma organizations and individuals throughout Europe and is collecting their signatures to put pressure on all participants—including the political sphere, the official authorities, the construction team, and the artist—for the continuation of the building process. The Roma community points to the urgent need to finally finish the memorial in order to celebrate in dignity the inauguration together with the handful of survivors and their families.

 

On June 2, 2012 The Romani Elders and representatives of the younger generation of Roma activism assemble to make their public statements in front of the Memorial. The Initiative aims to carve the memory of the Sinti and Roma victims into European collective memory.

 

ERCF also curates a comprehensive archive, which builds on the achievements of The Romani Elders, who spent a lifetime in Romani activism. We feel that the knowledge, experience, and work of the Roma community’s Elders are not explored or collected. ERCF and the new generation of Roma intellectuals wishes to give their role models the attention and respect they deserve—to ensure that their achievements will never be neglected or forgotten, and that their wisdom is re-invested in our societies.

 

by Tímea Junghaus

 

Visit www.theromanielders.org, and join the Initiative of The Romani Elders and ERCF with your signature!

 

Call for Unity!

Join the initiative of ‘The Romani Elders’ and ERCF with your signature! In the framework of the 7th Berlin Biennale a Civil Initiative, led by The Romani Elders and coordinated by the European Roma Cultural Foundation advocates for the completion of the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma murdered under the National Socialist Regime. [...]More >

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Ceremony and Reception in Honor of The Romani Elders

Guests: Ágnes Daróczi, Romani Rose, Hans Caldaras, Nicolae Gheorghe. [...]More >

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“Sunray” – a project by Paweł Althamer

Posted on: Mai 23rd, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Video by Jacek Taszakowski and Rafał Żwirek

Sunray

A project by Paweł Althamer

In Minsk, capital of Belarus, a random encounter with a few friends on the street can be considered as an illegal assembly. In Minsk, you can end up in prison for clapping your hands on the street. In Minsk, the government wants to control everything. Yet, more than 150 people in golden suits walked two miles to welcome the sun. These people have freed themselves from their fears and walked towards the hope for a better future.

 

On the foreday of the march the bands Amaroka, Paprika Korps and NRM gave concerts. The last band played a song especially written for the project "Sunray."

 

by Igor Znyk

 

Photos by Tomek Kaczor

Video by Jacek Taszakowski

Sunray

It seems that winter will forever

Remain in our city

It seems the sun will never warm us

Forever, another month

This mud, this cold and this wind

Probably the sun will never warm us

Probably never

 

The disc of the sun is smoldering like coal

The sky is red

Through the gloomy morning we can see the day

The ray, we're waiting for the first ray

Heaven

Through the dim morning - a ray, we're waiting

 

The morning gapes like a wound

In the squares, in the streets

Do you remember how warm it was from the sun?

I know.

 

The disc of the sun is smoldering like coal

The sky is red

Through the gloomy morning we can see the day

The ray, we're waiting for the first ray

Heaven

Through the dim morning - a ray, we're waiting

 

It seems that winter will forever

Remain in our city, in our hearts

 

The disc of the sun is smoldering like coal

The sky is red

Through the gloomy morning we can see the day

The ray, we're waiting for the first ray

Heaven

Through the dim morning - a ray, we're waiting

New National Art

Posted on: Mai 23rd, 2012 by Marta Gornicka

Video by Lidia Rossner

New National Art

an Exhibition in Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

June 2 – August 19, 2012

 

The exhibition as well as the accompanying research project New National Art have been developed by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw as a collaboration in solidarity with the 7th Berlin Biennale. The museum’s curators focused on researching the national-patriotic visual culture in Poland, a ubiquitous style that has thrived without awareness or support on the part of art institutions. The installations, paintings, films, books, etc. in the exhibition share an overarching political imperative: to influence people and to shape their views.

 

Displaying national-patriotic representations in Warsaw’s Museum of Modern Art (an institution associated with a left-wing discourse of empowerment) is an attempt to capture the character of political art and its impact on social moods. It is also an exercise in identifying the differences between left-wing critical art, confined in an elitist way to institutions and art discourse, and right-wing art that challenges the latter and puts an emphasis on achieving immediate effect. Inasmuch as political left-wing art—fearing accusations of the return of Socialist Realism—confines itself to galleries and still fails to have a direct impact on positions in public space, the new right-wing art has successfully dominated this field. The presented phenomenon constitutes a contemporary form of political art which, by means of analogy, could be termed "National Realism."

 

Curators: Sebastian Cichocki and Łukasz Ronduda

 

For more Information please visit: http://www.artmuseum.pl/wydarzenie.php?id=New_National_Art

 

Solidarity Actions

The main question of the 7th Berlin Biennale is focused on substantial results produced by art. It’s difficult because often artistic imagination is not prepared to create such effects. As in politics, it’s better to work collectively rather than alone. [...]More >

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