Portable Landscapes: District

Happy to invite you all to the opening of Portable Landscapes: Unweaving the Iron Curtain, next Thursday, 20.6. at District Berlin.

Apart from my golden oldie “A bit of a Complex Situation” (which I already had the privilege of contributing to the Riga edition of Portable Landscapes last year), I am showing my poster-flyer “Letters to Gabi”. I initially made the poster based on an email conversation with East German feminist artist Gabriele Stötzer in 2013 (developed back then as an intervention into the archive of “Up till now!” an exhibition on performance art in the former East at GfzK Leipzig).

I am happy to dig it out for this occasion, because a) if fits really well with the exhibition’s premise of interrogating Eastern European dissident and artist perspectives and biographies from a present day political and artistic point of view, and b) because it picks up on a line of interest in my work (East art histories) that has been an important, if not super visible aspect of my work, and that I am looking forward to picking up on and intensifying in the coming year/s.

Would be great to see you there!

Corporeal Dis/Continuities, The Whole Life Academy

Impromptu archive on the ground

Suza Husse and I had the pleasure and privilege of working with a wonderful group of artists and researchers at “The Whole Life Academy” last week in Dresden in our workshop “Corporeal Dis/Continuities. What bodies know of state-socialism.”. Many thanks to Charlotte Eifler, Nour Hachem, Rita Hajj, Susanne Hopmann, and Ashoka Vardhan – and to the staff of the Palucca University of Dance (the incredibly helpful Marina Brandt!) and the German Hygiene Museum Dresden.

Palast der Republik

The detailed programme of Palast der Republik (8.3.-10.3) is now online. I have been dreaming of seeing a programme like this, that brings together international artists, activist, scholars with protagonists from 1989/90 into discussions, performances, art works, dedicated to the content and relevance of that revolution for, well… the last 30 years…

I am pretty overwhelmed and incredibly thankful to be part of this.

#susanbuckmorss #RunderTisch #annazett #gabrielestötzer #borisbuden#frauenstreik #revolution #biniadamzcak #berndgehrke #deutschewohnenenteignen#annastiede#rundertischfurniture#technosektehenrikenaumann#maxherztberg #berndgehrke #soapandskin etc. etc.

Under construction

My website is currently under (re-)construction and missing its multilingual functionality. For information on my projects in English please contact me at mail [at] elskerosenfeld [dot] net. For texts in English see also: www.dissidencies.net.

Meine Website wird momentan überarbeitet. Für Infos zu meinen letzten Projekten auf deutsch kontaktieren Sie mich gerne per Mail: mail [at] elskerosenfeld [dot] net.

“wild recuperations. material from below. Artistic Research at the Archive of the GDR opposition.”

As some of you know, I have been spending a lot of time over the past months at the Archive of the GDR Opposition in Berlin-Lichtenberg, where together with Suza Husse, a group of fantastic artists and authors, and the wonderfully supportive team of the Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft, and with much help from District Berlin, we collectively cooked up our project

“wild recuperations. material from below. Artistic Research at the Archive of the GDR opposition.”

Our baby is now ready to see the light of day! We would love to see you at our opening on Nov 4th or on one of the many other occasions until December 16th.

More info here: http://www.district-berlin.com/en/gdr-opposition/

(Photo: Emma Haugh / Performance Big Bang Backwards by Nadia Tsulukidze)

Unterbrechungen: Skripte, Proben, Gesten

Unterbrechungen: Skripte, Proben, Gesten
(Interruptions: Scripts, Rehearsals, Gestures)

Elske Rosenfeld and Achim Lengerer
in collaboration with Bakri Bakhit and Anna Voswinckel

Contributors/Participants: Jane Beran, Judith Braband, Bernd Gehrke, Sigrid Lange, Matias Mieth, Carsten Möller, Carsten Saeger, Leopold Tax, Ina Weisser

KV — Verein für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig e.V.
Kolonnadenstraße 6, 04109 Leipzig

Eröffnung: 21. Juni 2018, 19:00 Uhr
22. Juni – 15. Juli 2018

The exhibition “Interruptions: Scripts, Rehearsals, Gestures” combines new iterations of two respective bodies of research of Achim Lengerer and Elske Rosenfeld. Both practices look at leftist/dissident histories of the pre-1990 East / West Germany, working with and from historical documents in which institutions, groups, and individuals come to be articulated within and beyond language. Physical gestures are conceived in both practices as instances of rupture and openness within historical narratives – in other words, moments where specific configurations of possibility and failure coincide.

For the exhibition, each has produced a new work in a shared work process that involved students of the Leipzig Art Academy as well as protagonists from both historical instances: participants of the Central Round Table of the GDR in 1989 and members of a mid-1980s Jena based Peter Weiss reading group. In this process, Achim has developed a collective performative rehearsal based on text material and transcriptions from his research into the reception of Peter Weiss’s play “Trotsky in Exile” and from his “Aesthetics of Resistance”. Elske has worked out a new format of her project “A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures”: a collective exercise in notating and reembodying the physical movements in which the urgency of a revolutionary decision making process manifests as physical excess.

(Photo: Caspar Sänger)

“1990 freilegen” at f/stop festival 2018, Leipzig

Very pleased to be contributing to f/stop festival Leipzig (https://f-stop-leipzig.de) with a new site-specific collaboration and by participating in the symposium:

f/stop In Situ: Das Jahr 1990 freilegen / Exposing The Year 1990; Public Display

Opening: 19.6., 7 pm, Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz, Leipzig


With photographs by Andreas Rost, text collages by Elske Rosenfeld, notes by Christian Borchert on the year 1990, and texts by Jan Wenzel. Layout: Wolfgang Schwärzler. Architecture: Diana Felber.

f/stop In Situ looks back at the year 1990. In comparing the years 1989 and 1990 it is remarkable that they have been recorded so differently in the collective memory. Virtually everyone in Germany can recall the events of the fall of 1989, while the year 1990—the lines of development of which were continually being disrupted—often remains unintelligible and incommunicable. Like children who can remember nothing before their third birthday, for many East Germans 1990 seems to be buried. Yet just as the first years of life shape a person’s emotional character, the experiences of 1990—all the hopes, fears, promises of happiness and disappointments – have left their mark on people’s deepest feelings and attitudes.

Free entrance, more information: https://f-stop-leipzig.de/de/in-situ/

f/stop Symposium:

Vom Nachwirken der Bilder. Plenum zu politischen Debatten und Praxen visueller Teilhabe

Sa, 23. 6. 2018, from 2 pm, Halle 14, Leipzig Plagwitz


14:15 – 16:15 Plenum (in German) with Falk Haberkorn, Eva Pluhařová-Grigienė (Moderation), Elske Rosenfeld, Andreas Rost

More info on the festival: https://f-stop-leipzig.de


Current and recent writings and publications can be found on my blog www.dissidencies.net.

Dissidencies is space for short-form textual observations, for making connections and shared thinking around the politics of 1989/90, its before, and after.

Künstlerische Forschung im Archiv der DDR Opposition

Artistic Research at the Archive of the GDR Opposition

Very happy to announce that Suza Husse and I will begin work on our year-long collaboration with the Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft/Archiv der DDR-Opposition and a group of wonderful artists and writers to work together towards an exhibition, publication, and events programme hosted by District Berlin.

More info is HERE.

Launching my blog

This has been in the works for a while, now ready to see the light of the webosphere:

My blog www.dissidencies.net.

DISSIDENCIES is space for short-form textual observations, for making connections and shared thinking around the history of, before, and after 1989.

I have put a few recent texts and postings up there and will be using this as a space for regular writings for beyond the much loved bubble. At least that is the hope, so do spread the word. This is a work in progress, so any feedback, criticism, or suggestions are welcome. Texts in English are here: http://dissidencies.net/category/english/

Gorki Herbstsalon

I am very pleased to announce that I will be showing new edits of two works,

A bit of a Complex Situation and Reading the Constitution, at:

3. Berliner Herbstsalon
11th-26th November 2017
Opening: 11 November 2017, from 7 pm

Unter den Linden 3
10117 Berlin

More info here: http://www.berliner-herbstsalon.de/en/dritter-berliner-herbstsalon

On Nov 25 2017 at 6 pm Kerstin Meyer, Joerg Franzbecker and I will be launching our publication Berliner Hefte #5: Zur Verfassung as part of the exhibition’s events programme:


Savvy Funk/ Documenta 14 Radio

Today at 15:10 on SAVVY FUNK: Das Radio der Documenta 14 on Deutschlandfunk Achim Lengerer and I talk about my research into the footage from the East German Central Round Table. Looking forward to this!
You can tune in here:
And listen later here:

Adretta: An East German Potato travels to Russia

Just back from the Divnogorie Museum Reserve, in Voronesh Oblast in Russia, where Åsa Sonjasdotter and I presented our research into the photographic archive of the former Institute for Plant Breeding in Groß Lüsewitz and the potato Adretta in the context of Mikhail Lylov’s carefully and lovingly put together mini-festival and book launch “Новые вопросы краеведения”. The book “Parallel Diagonals: artistic inquiry into a landscape” contains an image/text contribution by Åsa and myself, including images from the archive, interviews with the breeders of Adretta and a commentary on the Soviet/Russian afterlife of the potato by Misha Lylov. Available on request.

Capture of Speech: Dialogues with the Militant Film Archive

I presented my performance “She turns her head, …” at THE CAPTURE OF SPEECH, DIALOGUES WITH THE MILITANT FILM ARCHIVE, at Tabakalera, San Sebastian/Donostia last week: An extremely exciting and generous context, bringing together various researchers and artists that are beginning to organise and theorise, and get into conversation about a potential future archive/s of the dispersed and often little known militant films made under and against the Franco regime. It was an amazing priviledge to be able to bear witness and contribute in a very small way to this timely and important effort.


“A bit of a Complex Situation” will be screened at LE RENCONTRES INTERNATIONALES, at Gaîté Lyrique Lyrique, on Friday January 15 – 4PM. There is a trailer on this site (if you go to 16h00):


and at the Berlin edition of Rencontres, on Thu, 17th March, at 3 pm at HKW:


Some pictures from a busy autumn

Better late than never… here are some pictures form the many nice ventures this past autumn:

Talk with Mareike Bernien und Sandra Schäfer at Scriptings/ Berlin Art Week:

(Photo: Emma Haugh)

Opening PhD-in-Practice Final Presentation, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna:

Talk with Margareta Kern and Karen Mirza, at On Fictions and Gestures in the Contemporary: Art and Moving Image (organised by Mihaela Brebenel/ Radical Media Forum, Goldsmiths College London):

(Photo: Mihaela Brebenel)

Talk with Judith Braband and Sebastian Pflugbeil, former participants of the Central Round Table of the GDR, on December 7th 2015 (the 25th anniversary of its first meeting) in the exhibition at Galerie im Turm:

(Photo: Naomi Henning)

Two interviews, one new(ish), one old

Been meaning to add links to these two interviews journalist Unn Gustafsson did with me – one in 2009 (20th anniversary of “the Peaceful Revolution”) and the second one last November (25th anniversary of the “Fall of the Wall”). (The shift in terminology, that is, in how the – same – event is referred to, is in itself telling, and is one of the aspects that we discuss… )




Thanks, Unn!

A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures at Galerie im Turm

You are cordially invited to the second part of my exhibition project A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures, opening this Thursday at Galerie im Turm in Berlin-Friedrichshain.

The project combines different modes of interaction with three historical documents. Gestures and movements taken from these are developed into abstracted interventions that address the body as the site and archive of a political event. At the centre of this second part of the project is the video installation “Ein bisschen eine komplexe Situation/A mass is gathering outside”, a reworking of material from the Central Round Table of the GDR from 1989.

The poster/text work Scriptings #42 and documentation of the performance “She turns her head, she lifts the pen” from the first part of the project (Scriptings, Sept 14) will also be on show.

On Sun, 7th Dec, the 25th anniversary of the first meeting of the Central Round Table, a talk with invited guests will focus on those radical political demands and practices of the revolution of 1989 that have been over-written, side-lined and obscured by current commemorations of these events as merely the “Fall of the Wall.”

For more information on the event see: www.galerie-im-turm.net

In collaboration with Scriptings, Berlin,
DISTRICT Kunst und Kulturförderung, Berlin.

Performances in London and Berlin

I am very excited to present “She turns her head…” on two occasions this week in London and Berlin:

Tue, 18 November in London:

On Fictions and Gestures in the Contemporary: Art and Moving Image
Goldsmiths College, SE14 6NW
Richard Hoggart Building (RHB), Room 137

Screenings at 4 pm, Discussion/Performance at 6 pm.

Event organized by Mihaela Brebenel with screenings of works and interventions by invited artists: Elske Rosenfeld, Margareta Kern and Karen Mirza.

For the full programme of the event please visit http://radmediaforum.wordpress.com/2013-14-events-2/on-fictions-and-gestures-in-the-contemporary-art-and-moving-image-18112014/


Thu, 20th November in Berlin:

‘The Forgotten Pioneer Movement’: Set #A Performances
District Berlin
c/o Malzfabrik, Bessemerstraße 2-14, Berlin, Germany

7 pm performance: VIP, ‘Genullt’
8 pm performance: Elske Rosenfeld, ‘She turns her head she lifts the pen’
9 pm film screening: Marta Popivoda, ‘Yugoslavia – How Ideology Moved our Collective Body’ + Discussion

For more info see: https://www.facebook.com/events/1496470460619703/ and http://www.echogonewrong.com/voice-from-all/the-forgotten-pioneer-movement-between-socialism-and-post-socialism/

A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures… in Berlin

You are cordially invited to the two-part exhibition project A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures, opening this Wednesday, 3 September, at Scriptings and later on this year at Galerie im Turm (27 November).

The two parts of the exhibition foreground different formats and aspects of reworking the material. Scriptings’ program is official partner of this year’ s edition of Berlin Art Week.

(Foto Credits: Achim Lengerer)

Symposium “Wir sind das Volk”

I’ll be giving a talk at the Symposium “Wir sind das Volk”, at Hochschule für  Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig: June 13th 2014, 14.15:

Eine Kamera kreist in 2011 Kairo, eine Hand hebt sich in 1989 in Berlin.

“Dieser Vortrag beginnt mit dem Umkreisen des Zentrums einer ostdeutschen Stadt im Herbst 1989, mit einem filmischen Umkreisen des Tahrirplatzes im Februar 2012.

Revolution, das heißt, dass etwas in Bewegung geraten ist und zu kreisen beginnt. Something revolves. Ein Körper, der kreist, geht durch einen Prozess, ist Kräften und Energien ausgesetzt. Ein Körper, der nach einer Umkreisung an einen Ort zurückkehrt, ist nicht derselbe Körper, der diesen Ort verlassen hat. Es ist ein Körper, dem dieses Durchleben als Veränderung eingeschrieben ist.

Wenn wir Revolution, entgegen unserer Erwartungen, als eine Veränderung auf der Ebene der Körper, die sie durchlaufen, verstehen, was ließe sich dann über die zahllosen jüngeren Aufstände und Revolutionen, von 1989 bis heute, sagen, deren Fähigkeit, die Dinge auf Dauer zum Besseren zu wenden, in Zweifel steht?”

Syposium_Wir sind das Volk_Programm_WEB