Berlin turns 775 this year, and we are pleased to contribute a thematic reference to the anniversary through the eyes of an Afro-German artist.
Disappearance as process. Starting in 1989, Manuela Warstat began working – alongside her painting – on a poetic documentation of the changes in the city at the center of her life. Auguststraße is one of many images of the resulting photographic series that will be shown in the exhibition. Dilapidation garnished with bullet holes. So, too, the Berlin Wall on the banks of the Spree, captured by Warstat on video.
Over the course of two years, the artist was a witness to the dismantling and demolition of Berlin’s Palast der Republik on the former Schlossplatz. She documented a small, expressive series of this destructive process, compressed here for the exhibition. The dismantled monument of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels – or, the Marx-Engels-Forum – is closely related.
The rapid changes in Tiergarten Süd, the artist’s neighborhood, and Schöneberg, the next neighborhood over, provoked an unusual response to a deceased neighbor. The built environment of Walter Benjamin’s former apartment in the Kurfürstenstraße portrays his surroundings.