SYMPOSIA
Bill Van Parys and Reyes Melendez, "Under the Berlin Wall" (2009)

Opening Symposium

The Wall in Our Heads – Arts – Civil Society and Walls: American Perspectives
Saturday, October 25, 2014, 2 – 5 pm
Goethe-Institut Washington, GoetheForum
Free and Open to the Public
+ 1 (202) 289-1200
info@washington.goethe.org

For American artists of different generations, artistic formats, and cultural backgrounds, the Berlin Wall has been a pivotal site and symbol for weighing global forms of division, including those within the United States.

Three American artists featured in The Wall in Our Heads: American Artists and the Berlin Wall, Frank Hallam Day, Stephanie Syjuco, and Bill Van Parys, in conversation with Kai Wiedenhöfer, will consider the role of Berlin in the American cultural imagination and more broadly the notion of the artist as citizen before and after 1989.

Each artist will share stories about their life experiences living in Berlin, whether in the 1960s, 1980s, or post-wall 1990s. Frank Hallam Day is a recent winner of the prestigious Leica Prize in Photography. Bill Van Parys is a former editor of Details and writer for Rolling Stone. Stephanie Syjuco is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and professor of sculpture at UC Berkeley. Kai Wiedenhöfer is an internationally renowned photojournalist whose Wall on Wall project was recently shown on the remnants of the Berlin Wall.

Panelists:

Frank Day, artist, Washington DC

Bill Van Parys, author of Under the Berlin Wall: From Kansas to Kreuzberg and Off into the Universe (1983-88)

Stefanie Syjuco, mixed-media conceptual artist, UC Berkeley

Kai Wiedenhöfer, photo journalist, Germany

Introductions by:

Wilfried Eckstein, Director of Goethe-Institut Washington

Hope M. Harrison, author of Driving the Soviets up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations and Associate Professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University

Paul M. Farber, curator of The Wall in Our Heads: American Artists and the Berlin Wall and Postdoctoral Writing Fellow at Haverford College

Reception 7-9 PM

Music by Berlin Wall Mixtape

Poets from Split This Rock Poetry Festival

Sarah Browning is Executive Director of Split This Rock. Author ofWhiskey in the Garden of Eden and co-editor of D.C. Poets Against the War. She is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Gowri K. is a Tamil American poet, performing artist, and lawyer whose parents immigrated from Sri Lanka. She serves as poetry coordinator at BloomBars, a poetry host at Busboys and Poets, and as senior poetry editor with Jaggery: A DesiLit Arts and Literature Journal.

Carlos Parada Ayala is the author of the poetry book La luz de la tormenta/The Light of the Storm (Zozobra Publishing, Maryland, 2013)and co-editor of the anthology Al pie de la Casa Blanca: Poetas hispanos de Washington, DC (North American Academy of the Spanish Language, New York, 2010).


Before and After the Wall: Music & Art in East & West Germany

The Wall in Our Heads – Arts – Civil Society and Walls: German Perspectives Symposium
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 2 – 5 pm
Goethe-Institut Washington, GoetheForum
Free and Open to the Public
+ 1 (202) 289-1200
info@washington.goethe.org

This symposium will address the perspective of German artists on both sides of the Wall whose lives and work were shaped by the division. How did teenaged hip-hop artists appropriate breakdance, graffiti, DJing and rap from the Bronx? How did they organize their own communities and become part of the transatlantic hip-hop scene in the 1980s? Leonard Schmieding (curator of the exhibition The Early Days: Hip-Hop Culture in the German Democratic Republic), in conversation with filmmaker Nico Raschick, will highlight how Hip-hoppers in the two Germanies made their own history—and they continue to make it matter today. Renowned art historian Eckhart Gillen will give an overview of the artistic development with reference to the Berlin Wall. This will include paintings, photography and installations by A.R. Penck and Jörg Immendorff, Wolf Vostell, Roger Loewig, Wolfgang Peuker, and more.

Panelists:
Leonard Schmieding, associate research fellow, German Historical Institute, and curator of the exhibition The Early Days: Hip-Hop Culture in the German Democratic Republic
Nico Raschick, filmmaker, Here We Come (2006)
Eckhart Gillen, German art historian and curator
In cooperation with the German Historical Institute, Washington, DC