Wild recuperations. material from below – Artistic Research at the Archive of the GDR Opposition

District Berlin

  • 04.11.2018. - 06.12.2018

The dissident practices and sociabilities of the late GDR unfolded in a present detached from any utopian future. To this day, these historical experiences have not been acknowledged or studied as relevant. The materials at the Archive of the GDR Opposition draw a complex picture of oppositional womens, peace, and environ­mental movements, and lesbian, trans and gay initia­tives, and of the unique political and social practices and ideas they gave rise to – along and against both the promise and the failure of state socialism. They also document how these gained shape and momentum in the short, euphoric heyday of the civil movements and new parties in the autumn/winter of 1989/90 – before disappearing into almost complete historical unintelligibility in the post-reunification period. The institution was founded in 1990 by protagonists of some of these groups.

The invited artists and authors trace their histories and their projections relating them to concepts and forms of the Political in the present day. wild recuperations. material from below draws on current artistic forms of working with archives, which not only look at the historical contents of documents, but also at archival and historicizing practices themselves as a field of conceptual and aesthetic processing. To this aim, the project involves international contributors who deal with the central themes of the project in various formats, in many cases from a sub-cultural and counter-cultural, queer-feminist, de-colonial and post-colonial perspective on archives or archival materials, the representation of history, the specific history of the former state socialist countries and their dissidences, as well as other international environmental, women’s, human rights, and peace movements.

A cooperation between District Berlin and the Archive of the GDR Opposition / Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft e.V. Curated by Suza Husse and Elske Rosenfeld in conversation with the partners at the archive: Rebecca Hernandez Garcia, Frank Ebert, Tina Krone, Christoph Ochs, Olaf Weißbach. Research assistant: Maria Josephina Bengan Making.

With contributions by Anna Zett, Claude Gomis, Elsa Westreicher, Elske Rosenfeld, Henrike Naumann, Kai Ziegner, Ernest Ah & Sabrina Saase & Lee Stevens from the Raumerweiterungshalle Collective, Mareike Bernien & Alex Gerbaulet, Nadia Tsulukidze, Peggy Piesche, Saskia Köbschall, Suza Husse, a.o. as well as works by Bärbel Bohley.

EXHIBITION 5 November – 16 December 2018

Archive of the GDR Opposition (Haus 17) Stasizentrale. Campus für Demokratie, Ruschestraße 103, 10365 Berlin Opening hours: Monday, 3-6 pm and Wednesday, 3-8 pm

A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures Video installation by Elske Rosenfeld
 Big Bang Backwards Video installation and performance (4.11.) by Nadia Tsulukidze

** Zines by Mareike Bernien & Alex Gerbaulet, Suza Husse & Maria Josephina Bengan Making, Ernest Ah & Sabrina Sasse & Lee Stevens from the Raumerweiterungshalle Collective, Kai Ziegner and Elsa Westreicher

** Selected documents from the archive and a print by Bärbel Bohley

** Sounds of Solidarity Audio sculpture by Claude Gomis (from 26.11.)

** BRONXX Performance by Technosekte + Henrike Naumann (16.12.)

District Berlin Bessemerstraße 2-14. 12103 Berlin Opening hours: Thursday to Saturday, 3-7 pm

** Deponie Installation by Anna Zett

** Zines by Mareike Bernien & Alex Gerbaulet, Suza Husse & Maria Josephina Bengan Making, Ernest Ah & Sabrina Saase & Lee Stevens from the Raumerweiterungshalle Collective, Kai Ziegner and Elsa Westreicher

** Selected documents from the archive and a drawing by Bärbel Bohley