During the Cold War, an “Iron Curtain” ran through Europe, but even the borders between “friendly Socialist countries” were politically sensitive and only allowed limited international movement. In the 1960s, rules became more relaxed, but a true breakthrough came in 1972: the GDR, ČSSR and Poland introduced laws permitting cross-border travel without a passport or visa. In the very first year of their introduction, millions of people took advantage of the new regulations, going on holidays, day trips and shopping tours to neighbouring countries.
The exhibition highlights these diverse travel experiences, going beyond the “Borders of Friendship”. It presents material evidence of tourism from the collection of the Museum of Utopia and Daily Life, other collections and archives, as well as private loans: including travel catalogues, posters, maps, holiday souvenirs, postcards, photo albums and 35 mm films.
The upheaval of 1989/90 led to a watershed in urban development throughout Eastern Germany, especially for industrial cities in peripheral locations. Industrial and commercial closure, migration and declining birth rates are causing shrinking cities, demolition and urban transformation. How will these cities cope in the years ahead? Can history reveal specific opportunities for the future? The Museum of Utopia and Daily Life invites visitors, residents and experts to jointly consider these questions and develop ideas.
Eisenhüttenstadt is an especially suitable example: planned as a “new type of city”, the first housing blocks of the socialist model city were developed here 70 years ago. The exhibition takes comparative perspectives on Nowa Huta in Poland and Schwedt in Brandenburg: how are these cities shaping social transformation? The exhibition also presents plans, models and photographs, as well as the artistic installation “DDR NOIR” by the artist Henrike Naumann.
The exhibition project “Endless Beginning. The transformation of the socialist city” is supported by the Federal Foundation for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Eastern Germany and was developed in cooperation with the Department of Visual Communication at the weißensee academy of art berlin. Also in cooperation with the City of Eisenhüttenstadt and the Städtisches Museum Eisenhüttenstadt, City Archive Department. Media partner: Das Magazin.Close
The current construction of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea is a controversial geopolitical topic. The struggle for dominance on the European energy market has been continuing for decades. From the 1970s to 1990s, participation in the Drushba Pipeline (Russian: Дружба; English: Friendship) was an exemplary project with which the German Democratic Republic (GDR) presented itself abroad. For years, thousands of workers were deployed along the pipeline, for which the GDR received natural gas from the Soviet Union.
The “project of the century” was accompanied by a major cultural campaign: the GDR brought artists to the pipeline to entertain the “Trasniks”, as the workers were known; artworks were also produced on-site, which were presented at touring exhibitions along the pipeline and in the GDR. The infrastructure project was also showcased in publications and numerous television reports. This exhibition focuses on the connection between culture and economic policy, investigating the image that was constructed for the general public and the role that art played in the process.
Exhibition venue: ehem. Selbstbedienungskaufhalle, Saarlouiser Straße 60a, Eisenhüttenstadt
The project is part of the theme year Kulturland Brandenburg 2021: “The future of the Past – Industrial culture in motion”
The theme year Kulturland Brandenburg 2021 is funded by the Ministry for Science, Research and Culture, as well as the Ministry for Infrastructure and State Planning of the State of Brandenburg.
Mit freundlicher Unterstützung der brandenburgischen Sparkassen.
Mit freundlicher Unterstützung der Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg.
Special thanks to Holger Friedrich for kindly providing the project space for the exhibition.Close
Exhibition at Schloss Biesdorf, Berlin
Due to the current restrictions on public life to combat the Corona pandemic, Schloss Biesdorf is closed. Information: schlossbiesdorf.de/en/.
Zeitumstellung | Time Change
Works from the Beeskow Art Archive in dialogue with contemporary positions
The memory of the GDR as a country of one’s own origins and part of today’s Federal Republic is the focus of the exhibition “Zeitumstellung”. Recent socio-political developments make it clear how diverse and heterogeneous the memories of this supposedly “disappeared” country are. The interplay of selected works from the Beeskow collection with contemporary positions in this exhibition enables new dialogues, perspectives and questions. Works from the art archive will open up new perspectives on the GDR with current works by contemporary artists and expand the view beyond the historically conditioned borders. The exhibition looks back at life in the GDR and its representations, not Eastalgia, but remembrance and mediation into today.
The Beeskow Art Archive houses a special stock of artistic works from 40 years of the GDR that is of cultural and art historical interest. Owned by parties, mass organisations and state institutions of the GDR before 1990, the works have belonged to the new federal states since German reunification. The Beeskow depot holds the shares of the states of Berlin, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The exhibition “Zeitumstellung” is part of a reorientation whose aim is, among other things, to open up the collection even more to new perspectives through a contemporary approach.
Schloss Biesdorf, as the municipal gallery of the district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf, has already worked together with the Beeskow Art Archive in recent years. Smaller presentations from the context there and also selected positioning of individual works in the current contemporary context have been shown several times.
In this exhibition, the focus is now on works from Beeskow.
In dialogue with contemporary works, this exhibition can offer a further contribution to the discussion about the artistic heritage of the GDR. he exhibition will be accompanied by an educational programme.
Artists in the exhibition:
Joachim Bayer, Claudia Borchers, Gudrun Brüne, Manfred Butzmann, Fritz Duda, Wolfgang Eckhardt, Bernhard Franke, Friedrich-Wilhelm Fretwurst, Peter Fritz, Ellen Fuhr, Gerhard Füsser, Dieter Gantz, Albrecht Gehse, Gerd Gombert, Max Görner, Bruno Griesel, Claas Gutsche, Ruthild Hahne, Monika Hamann, Harald Hauswald, Michael Hegewald, Hermann Hensel, Eberhard Hertwig, Christa und Günter Hoffmann, Martin Hoffmann/Reinhard Zabka, Frenzy Höhne, Jo Jastram, Doris Kahane, Susanne Kandt-Horn, Doris Karras, Achim Kircher, Konrad Knebel, Kurt-Hermann Kühn, Rolf Lindemann, Harry Lüttger, Maria Mateva, Harald Metzkes, Ingeborg Michaelis, Paul Michaelis, Rainer Muhrbeck, Barbara Müller-Kageler, Gudrun Petersdorff, Mario Pfeifer, Carla Pohl, Volker Pohlenz, Inken Reinert, Lothar Rericha, Gottfried Richter, Horst Ring, Gerhard Rommel, Gerti Schlegel, Rolf Xago Schröder, Werner Schulz, Maria Sewcz, Hartmut Staake, Daniel Theiler, Hans Ticha, Andreas Wachter, Norbert Wagenbrett, Malte Wandel, Christoph Wetzel, Walter Womacka, Axel Wunsch, Thomas Ziegler, Annett Zinsmeister, Christof Zwiener
Curated by Elke Neumann
A cooperation project between Schloss Biesdorf and the Kunstarchiv Beeskow.Close
“The aim of my photography was rarely to capture a special, unrepeatable moment. Instead, the moment I sought again and again was when the special, exceptional and coincidental slips away from people and they reveal their nature, how they really are.”
Hardly any other photographer has shed light on East Germans and their livelihoods as intensively and from as many perspectives as Roger Melis (1940–2009). For three decades, the co-founder and master of East German photo-realism travelled from Berlin throughout the GDR, a country under SED rule that he often perceived as “silent” and petrified. In atmospherically dense, often symbolic photographs, he documents the everyday life of people in urban and rural locations, their working and living conditions, as well as more or less voluntarily executed political rituals in a real socialist environment.
Vivid photographs of writers and visual artists made Melis renowned in the 1960s both in the East and West. Many of his portraits of authors, including Anna Seghers, Heiner Müller, Christa Wolf, Sarah Kirsch and Wolf Biermann, subsequently became prominent in newspapers, magazines, books, calendars, posters and record covers, helping to shape the “face” of East German culture. Today, they are regarded as classics of the genre.
Melis shows the same care in portraying people from almost all social fields: workers and managing directors, farmers and foresters, craftsmen and traders, children and teenagers, functionaries and dissidents.
Melis preferred to seek out people where they worked, showing everyone the same respect. His portraits of East Germans refrain from depicting types, nor do they attempt to expose anyone. Instead they approach people gently and are open to the diversity of their experiences.
The empathetic portraits are complemented by a wide range of self-commissioned reports and striking milieu studies that combine to paint a multifaceted picture of the GDR. The images reflect the pride and confidence of East Germans, while also revealing signs of skepticism and resignation, as well as defiance and growing courage, which ultimately led to the system’s collapse.
The exhibition was produced in cooperation with the Roger Melis Archive and curated by Mathias Bertram. Two accompanying books entitled In einem stillen Land and Die Ostdeutschen have been published by Lehmstedt Verlag.Close
War, liberation and friendship in images from the Beeskow Art Archive
“The Art of Memory” presents paintings, graphics and photographs on the theme of World War II, liberation from National Socialism and friendship with the Soviet Union. These themes are key to the GDR’s own understanding of its history and are accordingly present in its art. In the 1980s, increasing undertones and multifaceted interpretations became apparent: going beyond idealisation, the anti-fascist myth and the symbolism of avowal. A wide range of realistic, expressive and abstract aesthetic means were used. In many works, reflection on history is combined with consideration of contemporary problems, such as authoritarian social conditions, militarism and the fear of nuclear war. Thus the images continue to be relevant to reflection beyond the period of their production.
Includes works by Petra Flemming, Dieter Gantz, Heidrun Hegewald, Hartmut Hornung, Gerhard Goßmann, Gerhart Kurt Müller, Norbert Wagenbrett and Thomas Ziegler.
Serien zur sozialistischen Produktion
Ob als Motiv in Magazinen oder von Künstlerinnen und Künstlern porträtiert: Darstellungen von Arbeit, Arbeiterinnen und Arbeitern waren bestimmend und allgegenwärtig in der Bildwelt der DDR.
Eine gemeinsame Ausstellung vom Kunstarchiv Beeskow und dem Dokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDR im Brandenburger Landtag in Potsdam.
30.1. – 11.12.2020
Die Sammlung in Eisenhüttenstadt und der Kunstbestand in Beeskow verfügen über zahlreiche Bildmedien und Kunstwerke, die enorme Präsenz des arbeitenden Menschen in der visuellen Kultur der DDR eindrücklich belegen.
Von besonderem Interesse sind hierbei Werke, die als Serie konzipiert und umgesetzt, respektive veröffentlicht worden sind. Sie verdichten die Arbeiterin und den Arbeiter zum Typus und zur Heldenfigur, zeigen Arbeitskontexte und wiederholen Losungen zur sozialistischen Produktion schier unendlich. Es ergeben sich vielfältige Perspektiven auf das gesellschaftliche Ideal und die alltägliche Realität der Arbeit in der DDR. Damit verbunden sind Einblicke in die ostdeutsche Zeitgeschichte sowie Impulse zum Diskurs über damalige, heutige und zukünftige Arbeitsverhältnisse.
Mit Werken von Edmund Bechtle, Kurt Buchwald, Goran Djurovic, Jürgen Parche, Dieter Rex, Vera Singer, Marion Wenzel, Klaus Werner, Ursula Wolf, Walter Womack sowie mit Titelgestaltungen der Neuen Berliner Illustrierten, Porträtserien aus dem Magazin Sibylle, Karikaturen der Satirezeitschrift Eulenspiegel und Plakaten zum sozialistischen Wettbewerb.
Alter Markt 1
Die Ausstellung kann montags bis freitags von 8 bis 18 Uhr besucht werden. An gesetzlichen Feiertagen bleibt die Ausstellung geschlossen. Das Landtagsgebäude ist barrierefrei zugänglich.
„Wohnmaschine“ ist eine erinnerungskulturelle künstlerische Installation in einer Zweiraum-Plattenbauwohnung in der Holzwolle 27 in Eisenhüttenstadt. Die Präsentation versteht sich als Erweiterung der aktuellen Sonderausstellung des Dokumentationszentrums Alltagskultur der DDR: “Alltag formen! Bauhaus-Moderne in der DDR”.
Der Autor von „Wohnmaschine“, Architekt und Fotograf Martin Maleschka, nimmt zugleich Bezug auf seine Kindheitserinnerungen, denn aufgewachsen ist er nur einen Steinwurf entfernt von dieser Wohnung. Das Wohngebiet „An der Holzwolle“ hieß damals noch Otto-Grotewohl-Ring. Vier Wohnblöcke des Plattenbau-Typs P 2 sind seither abgebrochen worden, darunter auch der Aufgang mit der ehemaligen Wohnung Maleschkas.
Die Alltagsgegenstände, die nach 1945 von Formgestaltern anknüpfend an Traditionen des Bauhauses entworfen wurden, sind heute aus kaum einer modernen Wohnung wegzudenken. Aus den Depots des Dokumentationszentrums hat sich Maleschka nun eine Vielzahl von in der DDR industriell hergestellten Objekten in den signifikanten „Bauhausfarben“ Gelb, Blau und Rot ausgesucht, um diese in der Wohnung in einem #ThingsOrganisedNeatly-Design zu arrangieren: eine aus DDR-Alltagsgegenständen gelegte (Wohn-)Maschine. Die Wohnung wurde dafür in einen “whitecube” mit grauem Estrichboden verwandelt (mit Ausnahme von Küche und Bad).
Die Objekte sind funktionsunabhängig in Flur, Schlaf- und Wohnzimmer auf dem Boden angeordnet. Die mit vielfältigen Holzfurnieren ausgekleidete Küche mit Durchreiche befindet sich – angereichert durch weiße und transparente Dinge – noch in dem Zustand, wie sie vom Vormieter hinterlassen wurde. Im fensterlosen Bad ist der Rohbau der Großtafelbauweise wieder sichtbar.
Durch die Projektion von Bildmaterial aus der fast siebzigjährigen Geschichte der Stadt wird die einzigartige Architektur der Wohnkomplexe I bis III, die im Bauhaus-Jahr Teil der „Grand Tour der Moderne“ist, erfahrbar gemacht. Demographischer Wandel, Stadtumbau und -schrumpfung sind dreißig Jahre nach der politischen Wende allgegenwärtig und werden auch in der „Wohnmaschine“ verarbeitet.
Der Name der künstlerischen Installation „Wohnmaschine“ geht zurück auf ein gleichnamiges und flankierendes Projekt an der Eisenhüttenstädter Gesamtschule 3. Darin hat sich die Klasse 12 b unter der Leitung des Kunstlehrers Winfried Bellgardt auf vielfältige Weise mit dem Bauhaus, dem Produktdesign in der DDR und dem Ausstellungsmachen auseinander gesetzt. Im Rahmen dieses Semesterprojekts unterstützten Schülerinnen und Schüler die Entstehung von „Wohnmaschine“ tatkräftig und mit ihren Ideen. Ihre Arbeit dokumentierten sie in einem Kurzfilm, mit dem sie sich am Schülerwettbewerb „Mein Bauhaus – Meine Moderne“ der Architektenkammer Berlin und Brandenburg beteiligen. Der Film wird anlässlich der Eröffnung von „Wohnmaschine“ Premiere haben.
Öffnungszeiten: ab 23.6. bis 27.10.2019, jeden Sonntag 14 bis 17 Uhr
sowie nach Voranmeldung: 03364 417 355
Tickets erhalten Sie im Dokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDR
Erich-Weinert-Allee 3 in 15890 Eisenhüttenstadt.
„Wohnmaschine“ ist ein Kooperationsprojekt von:
Dokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDR
Eisenhüttenstädter Wohnungsbaugenossenschaft e.G.
Gesamtschule 3 Eisenhüttenstadt
As part of the Bauhaus centenary in 2019, the Documentation Centre of Everyday Culture of the GDR in Eisenhüttenstadt in the state of Brandenburg is presenting a special exhibition entitled “Shaping everyday life! – Bauhaus Modernism in the GDR” which examines the reception of the Bauhaus in the GDR.
Functional, durable and optimized for industrial mass production:“Shaping everyday life !” presents objects that were part of everyday life in the GDR – furniture, glassware, ceramics, technology and graphic design – and biographies of the designers who followed the tradition of the Bauhaus and contributed to the continuing development of its design principles and modern product design.
For example, the exhibition spotlights the design of furniture by the Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau by displaying work by furniture designers Franz Ehrlich, Selman Selmanagić and Rudolf Horn. The furniturefactory had become well known for its innovativeproducts as early as the beginning of the 20th century. The impact of modern and functional design,for example of designs by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, onthe glassware and ceramics created by Friedrich Bundtzen, Erich Müller, Margarete Jahny, Ilse Decho and Christa Petroff-Bohne is also explored. The exhibition shows how designers such as Albert Krause applied the principle of functional, durable and practical design to new materials such as plastics. In addition, the concept of “living functionality” was further developed to achieve greater flexibility and user-friendliness, as seen in approaches such as the “open principle” demonstrated by the Mokick Simson S 50 moped designed by Karl Clauss Dietel and Lutz Rudolph, for example.
The exhibition also examines the contradictions in the GDR government’s approach to the Bauhaus heritage in its cultural policies. Initial attempts to revive the Bauhaus tradition were followed by campaigns against so-called “formalism”, a ban on Bauhausstyle design and a return to what were regarded as national traditions in design. Modernism was tentatively rehabilitated when housing began to be constructed on an industrial scale. It was not until the refurbished Bauhaus Dessau was reopened in 1976 that the former school of design was adopted as part of the official cultural heritage of the GDR. Shaping everyday life! explores how the Bauhaus heritage gradually became accepted in the GDR. It considers early publications and exhibitions in the 1960s as well as later exhibitions, including the exhibition entitled “The Bauhaus Experiment” which was held in Dessau in 1988 in collaboration with the Bauhaus Archive in West Berlin. Exhibitions such as these were used to promote the GDR’s cultural and political image. Notwithstanding the chequered history of the reception of the Bauhaus, particularly during the years of the Soviet Occupation Zone and the early years of the GDR, former Bauhaus designers such as Mart Stam and Walter Funkat inspired the next generation of designers by their design practice and teaching at East German universities. The graduates of those universities would in turn have a profound impact on everyday culture. The biographies of 50 Bauhaus designers presented at the exhibition also illustrate personal continuities and networks.
The exhibition „Shaping everyday life!“ invites visitors to discover a hitherto long-neglected chapter in German design history as part of the Bauhaus centenary in 2019. Yet there is more than one reason why a visit to Eisenhüttenstadt is well worthwhile. In addition to the exhibition “Shaping everyday life”, the new city built in 1950 is an attractive destination. Just a short walk through the city reveals the changing East German ideals in architecture and town planning which are visible here more than anywhere else. Eisenhüttenstadt is not only one of Germany’s most extensive heritage sites but also one of the 100 selected destinations on the Modernism Grand Tour that can be visited during the Bauhaus centenary.
An exhibition catalogue, also entitled “Shaping everyday life! – Bauhaus Modernism in the GDR”, is available
from Weimarer Verlag mbooks. www.m-books.eu
Permanent Exhibition Eisenhüttenstadt
The permanent exhibition in Eisenhüttenstadt gives the visitor an introduction into politics, society and everyday life in the GDR. The ten exhibitions rooms show the multiple sides of everday life in work and family, informs about education, consumption and communication.
In subsequent exhibition rooms the structure of power in the GDR, the so-called “socialist way of life” in the 1970s and the different oppositional milieus in the 1980s are debated. The permanent exhibition starts with information about the new city of Eisenhuettenstadt. All exhbition rooms are connected by a “chronology in objects” covering the years between the end of WW II and the fall of the Berlin wall.
Several hundred objects, photographs and documents are presented in the permanent exhibition, combined with audio-visual material, oral-history interviews and digitized basic information about the GDR. An audio-guide provides “object stories” of 33 selected artifacts presented.
A 335-page catalogue accompanying the permanent exhibition is published by Ch. Links Verlag publishers, Berlin (in German).
A short printed guide through the exhibition is available in English.
Open depot Beeskow
The Museum of Utopia and Daily Life in Beeskow is an open depot that allows its visitors to discover a wide range of the works archived there.
It is possible to visit the depot on one of the regular guided tours. It is also possible to book guided tours by special appointment.
Large-scale oil paintings, fragile paper pieces, heavy bronze busts, fine ceramics and laboriously woven wall textiles: not only the quantity, but also the diversity of the Beeskow collection requires a depot facility that provides adequate space for every artwork.
Since 2019, the Art Archive has been fulfilling those conservational requirements at its new location in the direct vicinity of the medieval fortress Burg Beeskow. The additional space and modern technology not only ensure that the artworks are preserved in the long-term, but also represent a decisive step in enhancing their public profile.Close
COLD REVOLUTION. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN SOCIETIES IN TIMES OF SOCIALIST REALISM, 1948–1959“
The Museum of Utopia and Daily Life proudly supports the Exhibition “Cold Revolutions“ in the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw planned for
Mai.- 19.September 2021
Cold Revolution. Central and Eastern European Societies in Times of Socialist Realism, 1948–1959 is the outcome of an international conference organized by the Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, in January 2020, and an exhibition project (planned for May 25 – September 19, 2021). Both the conference and the show deal with Socialist Realism, a sensitive and problematic period in contemporary art history. The publication inquires about the relationship between the visual culture of the 1950s and the radical social revolution that took place in Central and Eastern Europe in the ‘cold’ climate of growing international tensions and the strengthening of communist dictatorships. Covering and linking together a wide range of areas of study—art history, but also social, political, and cultural history—thirty contributors explore deeply the 1950s’ social transformations, presenting intersectional essays on cultural and art history, short key study texts and profound analysis examples from the fields of painting, architecture and urban planning, design, photography, film and graphic design, representative of different countries, such as Poland, GDR, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary.