re-staging the East German peaceful revolution
a project in the framework of Descent
To Revolution by Bureau For Open Culture
REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT (RG) organized a performative event
in the city center of Columbus Ohio. The participants reenacted
one of the East German peaceful demonstrations from fall of
The idea is to stage a readymade demonstration and to look
at the demonstration as a cultural technique.
The Demonstration uses the original slogans from 1989. The
work is not about history, but about how we perceive our personal
role in society.
In preparation of the demonstration RG held a Banner Workshop.
After an open discussion the participants were invited to
take part in the making of the banners.
The historic context
This peaceful movement led to the fall of the iron curtain
and changed the geopolitical landscape of the world. The main
slogan of this movement "Wir sind das Volk" - "We
Are the People" stands for the will to gain back power
to the people.
In 1989 after forty years of existence the East German state
- GDR broke down. What once started as a vision of a class
free society failed in it´s real existence. Nevertheless
it was the intention of the most demonstrators to create a
just society on the basis of true Socialism. It became clear
very soon, that this intention was just an illusion. Right
after the fall of the Berlin Wall started a process of adopting
the values of the Western capitalist consumerist society.
The contemporary context
Re staging the demonstration transforms it to the specific
context of the USA. The concept of RG is an artistic "readymade"
in form of a political demonstration. This shift of context
can be described as a creative anachronism. Re-staging is
a mode of understanding. It opens spaces for reflexive consideration
of the current situation.
The current global financial and economical crisis brings
up similar questions: how can social inequality be solved
and how does this society affect the individual sphere? Is
the capitalist economical practice of expansion and competition
the ideal model for a sustainable development? How can society
be redefined as a model of participation and action?
In front of the background of parallel societies and excluded
classes there is an increasing need for a broad discourse
and critical awareness.