Zines: wild recuperations. material from below / Artistic Research in the Archive of GDR-Opposition

Banner from the occupation of the Stasi headquarters in 1990, selected from the Archive of the GDR Oppositon by Elsa Westreicher, installation view at District with zines produced for wild recuperations. material from below by Elsa Westreicher, Mareike Bernien & Alex Gerbaulet, Raumerweiterungshalle Collective (Ernest Ah, Sabrina Saase und Lee Stevens), Kai Ziegner, 2018.

Elsa Westreicher, Transparenz, Intimität, Dringlichkeit, Zine, 2018

Uranabraumhalden der Wismut AG (“die Pyramiden von Ronneburg”), Foto aus dem Redaktionsarchiv “die andere”/ Rainer Steußloff; März 1991, Archive of the GDR-Opposition, selected by Alex Gerbaulet and Mareike Bernien, 2018

Mareike Bernien & Alex Gerbaulet, Entlang der Silberstraße, Zine, 2018

Excerpt from the Zine gemeinsam unerträglich by Ernest Ah & Sabrina Saase & Lee Stevens / Kollektiv der Raumerweiterungshalle: Lesbenhochzeit auf einer Friedenswerkstatt, Erlöserkirche Berlin Rummelsburg 1983. Die Henkerin wurde später als IM enttarnt. Foto: privat, Archiv Tina Ehlischer

Poster stack: "Die Nachrichtensprecherin" (The news speaker), performancy by Verena Kyselka at a fashion show by Avantfemme (later Exterra XX), 1989, Archive of the GDR-Opposition, selected by Ernest Ah & Sabrina Saase & Lee Stevens / Kollektiv der Raumerweiterungshalle, for gemeinsam unerträglich, Zine and installation, 2018

Kai Ziegner, (M)eine Geschichte der Gewalt. Orte und Situationen. (1986-2016), Zine, 2018

Salomea Genin, Wie ich in der DDR aus seiner jüdisch-sich-selbsthassenden Kommunistin zu einer Jüdin wurde, oder How I came back to the Fold, Umweltblätter, 1989, Archive of the GDR-Opposition, selected by Kai Ziegner

Exhibition view, All photos: Emma Haugh

Four zines have been created as contributions to wild recuperations. material from below. Artistic Research in the Archive of the GDR Opposition, 4.11. – 16.12.2018, in the Archive of the GDR Opposition and District Berlin, curated by Suza Husse and Elske Rosenfeld. They anticipate the forthcoming publication on the project, which will be published by Archive Books in 2019. All zines are available during the exhibition period in the archive of the GDR opposition and at District Berlin for a small donation.

Intimacy, transparency, urgency: A few days ago, there were miles between yesterday and today. 

Elsa Westreicher

Elsa Westreicher is a graphic designer with a critical view on visual conventions and what deviating from them comes to mean. Her project in the archive of the GDR opposition proposes a “deep reading” of the graphic and material qualities as well as gestural inscriptions of some banners from the archive’s collection of objects. In her photographs, she traces the lines of contact between intimacies and public manifestations of protests: political demands are expressed on domestic textures – sheets and bed linen (which were often produced by forced labor in the GDR prison complex) that have been appropriated for this purpose. Their use – but also the time that has passed since then – has inscribed itself into the objects in the form of wrinkles, dirt, and abrasion.

Along the Silver Road
: a picture story illustrating radiant landscapes
Mareike Bernien & Alex Gerbaulet

In their zine Mareike Bernien and Alex Gerbaulet visit the landscapes and archives of the former uranium mining area of the Wismut AG in Saxony. Their contribution to wild recuperations. material from below is the prelude to their joint research on raw material mining and political environments, radiation and history.

unbearable together. a documentary mosaic
Script of the audio play by Ernest Ah, Sabrina Saase and Lee Stevens from the Raumerweiterungshalle collective (in German language, English translation available)

In the GDR, Raumerweiterungshallen (space expansion halls) were developed as utopian architectures. Mobile and telescopically expandable, they can be used for many purposes. During the student strikes in 2003, such a hall became the association space of the Selbstuniversität e.V. and has since been used as a self-organized project space. It is currently run by a group of nine people who focus on queer feminist content and methods.
During their research in the archives, Ernest Ah, Sabrina Saase and Lee Stevens have worked on a radio play dealing with lesbian and trans* realities, cultures and organizations in the GDR and their continuations until today.

A / (My) history of violence: an autobiographical experiment
Kai Ziegner (in German language)

Based on these experiences of growing up during the collapse of the GDR, the upheavals of 1989/90 and the post-reunification period, Kai Ziegner explores the biographical-historical performance of violent situations. In his contribution to wild recuperations. material from below, the pictorial narrative focuses on confrontations in Plauen’s urban space from 1989 to 1993. It begins with the experience of the demonstration in 1989, which became the starting point for his research in the archive of the GDR opposition, and then looks at the forms of neo-Nazi violence, police violence, and counterviolence that inscribed themselves into public space, subjects, bodies, and collective memory.