Living with the Death StripPicture Gallery
Experience the everyday life of the Cold War in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. The panorama THE WALL transports you on an autumn day to West Berlin in the 1980s with a direct view of the border fortifications and the death strip of the GDR. You become part of a surreal scenery of dilapidated and squatted houses near the Wall strip, with punks, wall artists, tourists and border guards.
From a viewing platform, experience a series of interwoven scenes and situations spanning some 25 years, bringing the period of German division to life. Experience the harsh reality of the death strip between West and East Berlin, between capitalism and communism. Walk through an exhibition with a hyper-realistic panorama installation and 80 private photographs by contemporary witnesses from the decades of division. Original sketches by Yadegar Asisi provide insight into the process of creating the panorama and Asisi's time as a wall artist. The tour is complemented by several films, including a documentary of Yadegar Asisi's personal view of the division and his life in the GDR and the Federal Republic in his adopted home of Kreuzberg.
"For me, it's not about assigning guilt or innocence. Rather, it's about the condensed depiction of the absurd normality that people experienced in their everyday lives in the shadow of the Wall."
As a contemporary witness of both systems, Yadegar Asisi processed his personal life story in divided Berlin, which is inseparably linked to the great political upheavals of the Cold War, into a spatial overall experience of life in the 1980s in THE WALL. Many years before the 2012 opening at the asisi Panorama Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie, the conception and realisation of the project began, which has since become an established site of Wall commemoration in Berlin. The process of creation can be traced in several publications and cinematic works. The documentary "On Both Sides of the Wall" summarises the motivation and milestones of the project on film.
More fascinating insights into the making of the project and Kreuzberg in the 1980s are offered in the exhibition magazine as well as in the short film "On Both Sides of the Wall" about Yadegar Asisi's personal experiences in divided Germany.
From the pilot project EVEREST onwards, Yadegar Asisi is collaborating with the well-known composer and pianist Eric Babak. In close collaboration between the two artists, the impressive soundscape of the panoramas is harmonized directly in the exhibition space with the lighting patterns to create an atmospheric overall installation. Depending on the project, the productions use, among other things, large orchestras and choirs, but also minimalist synthesizer sounds in combination with everyday noises to make the special atmosphere of the themes audible and tangible in the constant change of panorama sequences.