May I Interrupt

Installation, 2009

Installation Shot, Geschichtsforum Berlin, 2009

The installation takes a look at the historical institution of the Round Table assemblies in East Germany that were created as an important, but short-lived political instrument during the 1989/90 upheavals and where a Constitution for a reformed East German state was formulated by members of political groupings ranging from the discredited socialists, to vaguely pro-Capitalist, to grassroots anarchist groups.

The installation re-creates, using original video and sound documents, a ten minute scene from the first meeting of the Central Round Table in December 1989, where procedure is disrupted by the shouting and whistling of a large group of demonstrators approaching down the street. For a few minutes, until the demonstration passes, the different political groupings inside the room struggle to position themselves vis à vis the revolutionary masses outside – relating to them both as threat and political sovereign.

Beyond the concreteness of the historical situation shown, the installation contrasts two archetypal modalities of the political: protest/ disruption and re-institutionalisation and inscription, focussing the relationship between the two as the site where a new politicality can be effected or, possibly, foreclosed.

Installation Notes:
Videoloop (10 mins, colour, German with English subtitles. Courtesy of the Robert-Havemann-Archiv, Berlin), Constitution Draft of the Central Round Table (book), text plates, audioloop (4 min, repeating continually).

KHM Galeri, Malmö, Sweden; 25 April – 9 May 09
“Geschichtsforum 09”, Humboldt Universität, Berlin; 28 – 31 May 09
Werkleitzgesellschaft Halle; 26 October – 7 November 09