press release

There was once a country which disappeared from the world’s map, the country which now exists only in the stories and memories of its citizens. The land of memories still exists based on archives and statements; it’ s recalled utopia.

German artists invited to the exhibition in their works draw from the scraps of memories of private people – own and their relatives’, they derive from collective memories, trying to reconstruct the picture of East Germany. In their works search of identity of the country after transformation is present. Their thoughts are not about the past only, but also they are based on experiences of changes that followed the fall of the wall, showing disappointment and difficulties in finding oneself in new reality. Their attempt to return to places that does not exist anymore or that are impossible to recognize does not come from nostalgia, it is not the way of expressing longing for the lost reality but an attempt to reconstruct some events, to give voice to the citizens, to retrieve disappearing scraps of memory in order to establish own identity.

The aim of the exhibition is to present examples of historical methods used in fields of modern art, to show interest interdisciplinary of artistic strategies that allow to the artistic field also sociology and history. Artists refer to documents, certificates which were left by witnesses of events such as statements, pictures and official public archives.

Artists use tools of Oral History – like in the interviews collage run by Peter Kees along the old German demarcation line or questions about contemporary picture of Germany, asked by Antje Schiffers to employees Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst in Leipzig. Private archive of a refugee from GDR, found by Sven Johne, is an example of the use of Visual History method, which appears also in Wiebke Loeper’s photographic commentary to his father’s collection of photographs documenting his environment in East Berlin. The artist looks at them taking into account own memories and tries to find places remembered from childhood. Jan Brokof in the series of drawings and woodcuts illustrates the moment of his adolescence in one of the residential districts in East Germany.

The works collected in the exhibition pay attention to different dimension of memories, considering mainly personal matters that are at the same time authentic evidence of history, not only expression of one’s longing for gone country. They participate in wider discourse of collective memory which presented in exhibits form in compliance with one’s experience.

only in german

Erinnerungsland. The Land Of Memories
Kurator: Marta Gendera

Künstler: Peter Kees, Antje Schiffers, Jan Brokof, Sven Johne, Wiebke Loeper