Turnen/Gymnastics: A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures

My exhibition Turnen/Gymnastics: A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures

is on view

Gymastics Room, Haus 7 (5th & 6th floor)
former Stasi-Zentrale, Campus für Demokratie,
Ruschestraße 103, 10365 Berlin-Lichtenberg

from 8 to 18 December 2019.            

Gymnastics/ Turnen is a site-specific exhibition about dissident bodies in the former gymnastics hall of the Stasi with works of Gabriele Stötzer, Wolfgang Scholz and Elske Rosenfeld in an installation by Andrea Pichl

OPENING:                  8 Dec    3 – 8 pm, more infos on the opening here

OPENING HOURS:         11 Dec  3 – 6 pm
                                   14 Dec  3 – 6 pm
                                   15 Dec  3 – 6 pm
                                   18 Dec  13 – 6 pm

In the films in this exhibition, bodies appear as agents and subjects of the specific forms of the political in the late GDR and in the revolution of 1989. Gabriele Stötzer’s Veitstanz/Feixtanz, 1988, Super 8, 25 min, shows a cast of characters from the different (non-)scenes of the late GDR– a punk, a pregnant woman, a dancer, a peacenik, an old woman, a football fan – dancing themselves into a trance in a setting chosen by each of them – on the sidewalk, on the roof-tops, by the river, on a playground, in front of a ruin, in the East German city of Erfurt – against a soundtrack of trams and passers-by. Wolfgang Scholz’ Bodybuilding, 1988, 25 mins, is a documentary film about a body-building group, the time spent by these men torturing themselves among their self-made machines. We see them passing time in a training barracks: a rhythm of sweating bodies whose only aim is to have larger muscles as symbol of greater strength. Body-building was considered a capitalist sport and frowned upon in the GDR. Elske Rosenfeld’s edits of videos recorded by dissident film-maker Klaus Freymuth in 1989/90 – A bit of a Complex Situation, 2014 und Versuche/Framed, 2018, intensify the physical movements that are created when the experience of a (post-)revolutionary moments exceeds the currently sayable. Andrea Pichl’s installation TSC, 2019 sets these films into and against the disturbing aura of a room in which the Stasi took care of its employees through yoga and table tennis. TSC is short for Berliner Turn- und Sportclub e.V., the Berlin Gymnastics and Sportsclub that was funded as a counterpart to the sports clubs of the Army and the Police. The exhibition is part of Elske Rosenfeld’s ongoing research into the body and revolution, “A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures”. 

Artistic direction: Chiara Figone/ Archive Books

Supported by Haupstadtkulturfonds. For more information see http://www.archivekabinett.org/