October 23. Clearances. Reading by Manuela Koelke and screening of Harun Farocki’s The Leading Role (1994). Objects Before and After the Wall, Part 3

Wednesday, October 23, 19:00
Clearances. Reading by Manuela Koelke and screening of Harun Farocki’s The Leading Role (1994).
Objects Before and After the Wall, Part 3

For the third part of Objects Before and After the Wall at TIER, a collaboration with Tlaxcala 3 in Mexico City, Manuela Koelke will investigate her experiences of East Berlin, and we will screen Harun Farocki’s film The Leading Role (1994). Both works reflect on the role subjective experiences and conflicting media narratives play in the capture, remembrance and re-writing of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In her reading, Manuela Koelke revisits her childhood experience of growing up in East Berlin before and after the fall of the wall in November 1989, which brought about a sudden change of appearances, people disappearing, the economy crumbling, ideologies shifting, socialized land and goods being privatized, and new commodities flooding the East. But what really changed, from whose perspective? How do the subjective micro-stories of those who lived through these events relate to the state-sanctioned and media-driven narrative, then as now? How is the conflict between personal and collective affectedness to be understood, considering walls both within and outside? This foray into memories will question the value of being persuaded by any one perspective, whether personal or collective, and instead emphasize the need to make up one’s own mind, not to uncritically believe what the media claims to be true, and to find one’s own answers by relating to motivations other than one’s own.

Five years after the fall of the wall, Harun Farocki’s film The Leading Role (1994) delivers a montage film of media footage, produced by East and West German television crews at that time trying, for days on end, to get an emblematic image which would crystallize the event. In the attempt to define this ‘absent image’, “[…] this material shows the extent to which the collective conscience was affected by the event, as well as all the efforts made to repress the trauma” (Harun Farocki).

Manuela Koelke, born 1981 in East Berlin, works as an architect, writer and translator and is based in Berlin. Her work examines contradictions in planning practices, forms of self-organization, spatial justice and anarchist theory and practice at the interface of posthumanist and decolonial knowledge and production of space. Her PhD at the European Graduate School investigates the notion and meaning of non-planning—the negation of any form of planningfrom the angle of philosophy, theology and political theory. Recent publications include „Leben ohne Eigentum. Die „Bodenlosigkeit“ anarchistischer Siedlerbewegungen“ in Architektur auf gemeinsamem Boden. Positionen und Modelle zur Bodenfrage (Lars Müller Publishers 2019, edited by Florian Hertweck), Ontic Flows: From Digital Humanities to Posthumanities (Atropos Press 2016, edited together with Matt Bernico) and Radical Standard – for the Implementation of Spatial Justice in Urban Planning and Design (2012, TU Braunschweig). She is part of the team translating the Revolutionary Writings, Vol. IV, V & VI of the Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg (Verso, forthcoming, edited by Peter Hudis et al.), most of which are published in English for the first time.

Harun Farocki, was born in 1944 in Nový Jicin (Neutitschein), at that time Sudetengau, today Czech Republic. 1966–1968: Admission to the just opened Berlin Film Adacemy, DFFB. 1974–1984: author and editor of the magazine Filmkritik, Munich. 1998–1999: Speaking about Godard / Von Godard sprechen, New York / Berlin (Together with Kaja Silverman). 1993–1999: Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1966: more than 100 productions for Television or Cinema, including children’s TV, documentary films, essay films, story films. Since 1996: various solo and group exhibitions in Museums and Galleries. 2007: participation at documenta 12 with Deep Play. Since 2004: Visiting Professor; 2006–2011 full Professorship at the Academy of Art, Vienna. 2011–2014 long-term project Labour in a Single Shot, together with Antje Ehmann. Farocki passed away July 30, 2014 near Berlin.

Objects Before and After The Wall
This project analyzes the wall as an object from different angles: thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, twenty-five years after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement and in the geopolitical framework that requires research in Mexico it’s border condition with Central America and with the United States. The wall as an ideological space and the relationship between objects and walls. The notion of the liminal, the crack, the border and other possible unfoldings.
This event is part of a collaboration between Tlaxcala 3 in Mexico City, The Institute for Endotic Research and Berlin Art Prize. Objects Before and After the Wall is a collaboration between Tlaxcala 3 in Mexico City and The Institute for Endotic Research in Berlin. It has the 2019 sponsorship of the Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporéneo for theoretical and curatorial research.