Installation part of the "Moving Matters Travelling Workshop"

Installation, Kapelle der Versöhnung, Berlin Wall Memorial (2017)

For many years, the Wall defined Berlin. In 1989 the Berlin Wall came down, seemingly heralding a new era when people would no longer be divided by walls and the ideologies that uphold them. Today, however, around the world new walls are being erected and extended: between Mexico and the USA, Israel and Palestine, around “Fortress Europe,” and elsewhere. Walls symbolize division, but they also can provide refuge. This is likewise epitomized by Berlin. The city has offered walls to thousands of people fleeing wars in the Middle East. Hence, walls may also offer protection, privacy and a sense of home, and not only signal borders or divisions.

In Berlin, the artists of The Moving Matters Traveling Workshop will work in and around the Kapelle der Versöhnung (Chapel of Reconciliation) and the Stephanuskirche in Wedding to explore the multiple meanings of walls by developing an exhibition, performance and public interventions. The Chapel is located on the former border strip where the Church of Reconciliation once stood. The church was on the demarcation line and thus was not used after 1961. In 1985 East German government bombed it to enable the extension of the border zone. The new chapel was dedicated in 2000. Volunteers from around the world came to build the rammed-earth wall that delineates its inner sanctuary and which incorporates the ruins of the former church. Coming to the Chapel of Reconciliation as “serial migrants” the MMTW artists bring their own experiences of border crossings and recollections of the walls of their different homes to this project. Even as others perceived them as immigrants, refugees, love migrants or locals, they define themselves as serial migrants to focus on their common path of settling in multiple countries. They draw on this multi-faceted individual experience and the collective dynamic generated by the MMTW project since 2013 to contemplate the political and personal meanings of walls in their myriad material and imaginative dimensions.

An estimated 40,000 visitors to the Kapelle viewed and interacted with our work.

Curated by Susan Ossman and Lisa Strehmann