The Wall in Our Heads: American Artists and the Berlin Wall


  • Goethe-Institut Washington 812 7th St NW Washington, DC, 20001 United States

"The Wall in Our Heads: American Artists and the Berlin Wall"

Exhibit run: Saturday, 25 October 2014 – Monday, 15 December 2014
Goethe-Institut Washington, FotoGalerie
no charge
+ 1 (202) 289-1200
info@washington.goethe.org
For more information about the exhibit, visit the Goethe-Institut website

This exhibition reflects on the legacy of the Berlin Wall in American culture in the past and today. The Wall in Our Heads: American Artists and the Berlin Wall builds a transatlantic cultural space to reflect on the topic of the Wall and the Arts. The exhibition will include artworks from before 1989 and after to lay bare layers of cultural memory and promote transnational creative exchange between the United States and Germany.

During the Cold War, the Berlin Wall was the world's most notorious line of division. The fortified city border not only separated East and West (Germany), but also surrounded the allied sectors of West Berlin, including its American sector. Even in the shadows of its stark border, the divided city of Berlin was maintained as a major focal point of transnational cultural connection, and hundreds of American artists were attracted to Berlin and the Wall.

Since 1989, as pieces of the dismantled Wall are given mixed treatment as relics and highly-priced art objects themselves, other artists continue to weigh the afterlife of the Wall with a resilient critical and creative eye. This includes projects that consider the monumental nature of the Wall’s ruins and the “new walls” around the world.

Artists include Lindy Annis, Alexandra Avakian, Jonathan Borofsky, Chuck D., Frank Hallam Day, Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab, Ron English, Allen Frame, Leonard Freed, Nan Goldin, Keith Haring, Oliver Harrington, Carol Highsmith, James Huckenpahler, Allan Kaprow, Farrah Karapetian, Nilay Lawson, Oliver Miller, Adrian Piper, Stephanie Syjuco, Shinkichi Tajiri, Bill Van Parys, Reyes Melendez, and Lawrence Weiner. Some works are lent courtesy of the artists.

Supporting institutions include Adrian Piper Research Archive Foundation, Getty Research Institute, Haverford College Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, Keith Haring Foundation, Library of Congress, Magnum Photos, National Gallery of Art, Provisions Library, and the Wende Museum.

Curated by Paul M. Farber, Postdoctoral Writing Fellow at Haverford College.