Schrift an der Mauer
April 1989, Berlin Wall, East Germany
30' x 13', Mixed Media
Supported by Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie
Brass and copper plates were inscribed with the hopes and fears of people living in America, East Germany, and West Germany. People divided by the wall spoke together about their motivating emotions.
Applying the metal plates,
I am assisted by one of two young Austrian women who helped me throughout the day.
In this artwork, I asked ordinary people in West Berlin, East Berlin, and the United States to write down their hopes and fears. I then inscribed 112 metal plaques with these statements and mounted them on the Wall. The inner thoughts and feelings of people from all of Berlin and from both sides of the Atlantic communicated together on the Wall, itself a potent emblem of both hope and fear, East and West. This allowed viewers of the artwork to see both the similarities and differences in the concerns of ordinary people who normally have no public forum.
This photograph shows the ninth time the East German Stazi or secret police came out from behind the Wall. Three are standing in a defensive unit, one is videotaping the art work.