Living with the Death Strip
ASISI PANORAMA BERLIN
Tickets EUR 4 – 10
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Yadegar Asisi wanted to reflect on the atmosphere and day-to-day life of 1980s Berlin in the shadows of the Berlin Wall, where the division had become a normal and accepted part of being in the city. In THE WALL, Asisi, who himself grew up in the GDR and lived in West Berlin after 1978, consolidates his everyday experiences in divided Berlin into a snapshot of the mood, which is then projected on a large scale.
The Panorama transports visitors to an autumn day in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin. The 1980s alternative scene is booming, where punks, squats, trailers and a petting zoo meet on the streets of SO 36, completely separate from life in Mitte and East Berlin – despite being just a stone’s throw away. The several-metre-wide death strip and its border fences separate east and west, FRG and GDR, capitalism and communism.
THE WALL highlights the daily routines of the divided city in numerous interweaving scenes and settings over a period of some 25 years. The accompanying music, which was composed by Eric Babak and features original quotes from politicians from the east and west, adds an auditory element to the experience – paired with diffuse lighting, lending a sense of seriousness and menace to the contemplative scenery.
More than a hundred photo motifs from the time of the Berlin Wall and of the day of the fall of the wall in 1989 serve as an introduction to the project in the first exhibition room.
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.