(4 Nov 2019) LEAD IN:
November 9th marks 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In the German capital, a new exhibition is exploring the effect of walls, both mental and physical, and how they can be overcome.
What’s in a wall?
This imposing slab of granite is currently exhibited in the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum in the German capital Berlin.
The red and yellow freight straps secure it to a raised plinth.
Outside the window of the exhibition hall – the remnants of the Berlin Wall act as a reminder that walls are often put up, but sometimes in moments of daring frenzy, also torn down.
The untitled work by Mexican artist Jose Davila is a part of a new exhibition called “Walking through Walls”.
The collection of artworks explores human interaction with walls, some 30 years since the wall in Berlin fell.
“The exhibition, ‘Walking through Walls’ takes the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall to explore borders that are still in existence,” says the curator Till Fellrath.
“It is not so much about walls, or about the Berlin Wall, but rather we see the walls as a symbol of mental borders that separate people from one another. The exhibition explores what that does to people and it is about how people should come together.”
The late German artist Gustav Metzger’s cardboard structures take inspiration from the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin.
Hanging over it are oil paintings from the Lebanese artist Tagreed Darghouth, showing security cameras – another way that humans create distance between one other.
“The Gropius-Bau is, of course, a building that is perfect to start a discussion about the Berlin Wall,” says Stephanie Rosenthal, the director of Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum.
“When we look outside the windows, we see the remnants of the wall, but also of the Gestapo museum “topography of terrors.” We have German history directly in front of our door. But we really wanted to put this into an international and global context.”
The ongoing refugee crisis is the focus of Danish artist Michael Kvium’s seven by three metre oil painting called “Beach of Plenty.”
It shows rubber dinghies with migrants arriving at what looks like a European beach.
Brazilian artist Jose Bechara wants to show the possibility of tearing down walls.
In “Ok, let’s talk” two chairs, representing two people, are locked into a conversation that will bring them close to each other.
“We build walls. We build invisible walls. Almost every day. So, I’d like to invite you, to from time to time, sit, watch, see me, watch to my eyes. Let’s try to have a conversation, again, about love. I love you,” he says.
The exhibition “Walking through Walls” runs until January 19, 2020.
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