Invitation to participate in the realisation of the installation The GDR era for the inaugural exhibition at the new Academy of the Arts (Akademie der Künste) at the Berlin Brandenburg Gate.
During the exhibition, participants read texts from the GDR archive of the Academy of the Arts in a two-hourly rhythm without any interruption over a period of 80 days or 640 hours. The selection – a type of book of hours with varying chapters - ranges from administrative documents, private correspondence, diaries, poetry and prose in addition to speeches, propaganda, political appeals and media publications. For example, readings were made from letters by Bert Brecht, poems by Johannes R. Becher, notes from the classes of Gret Palucca, documents relating to the construction of Stalinallee in Berlin and congratulatory telegrams from the GDR central committee. An era is evoked using its own expressions, voices and aspects.
The invitation was issued to everybody to lend their voice to this era. "It is a turning towards, bringing the material 'into the light'. This not only concerns loss of life, which an archive always signifies, but also a continuation of the past, which an archive also represents."(Jochen Gerz).
More than 350 readers realised the installation The GDR era. By giving history back to the living in this radical fashion, the work not only points to their responsibilities with respect to this, but in particular with respect to the present, that is tomorrow's history.
- Die Ziet der DDR/The GDR Era, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walter Konig, Berlin 2005 (German and English)
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