In memory of this historic event I chose to recreate a section of the Berlin Wall as the well-known symbol of the Cold War era. But I designed the wall with a crack to show that even solid concrete barriers do not last forever. That crack in the wall symbolises the strive for freedom. And I wanted the viewers to get exposure to the Wall so that they can experience those feelings and emotions themselves.
‘The Fragment of The Berlin Wall’ was installed across an alley by the Moskva-river embankment. This place is popular with Muscovites, who come here for a casual walk or a regular work-out. The positioning of the wall across a narrow alley obstructs the passageway and invites people to go through the crack, which allows the wall to interact with viewers and start a dialogue.
It was really important for me that the wall have not only a historical, political and educational meaning, but also a global sense, understandable to everyone. On the one hand, I would like the viewer to feel the oppressive weight of the dividing wall, and on the other, to understand that any obstacle can be overcome.
The wall has two sides, each with a different color and meaning. The East-Berliners saw the oppressively grey wall, their side was monotonous and depressive. On the grey side of the wall I reproduced famous graffiti from the original Berlin Wall: “ The world is too small for walls”. The quote is still relevant today as we keep on building too many walls of misunderstanding, and rejecting each other. The other side of the wall is vibrant yellow, covered with bright and cheerful graffiti and paintings linked to West Berlin.
Follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change
It’s no coincidence that the installation was situated in Muzeon, a part of Gorky Park. The Scorpions rock ballad “Wind of change” is dedicated to Gorky Park. For many, the song has become an anthem to the end of the Cold War and a symbol of freedom and peace.
To make the wall look realistic, its texture was carefully created, with cracks, irregularities, real stones and fragments of reinforcement. Moreover, it includes a fragment cast from the real wall of the Moscow two-century house, which was found in the center of the city. So, we can say, that ‘The Fragment of The Berlin Wall’ holds a small piece of Moscow.
The Ambassador of France Pierre Lévy, the Ambassador of Czech Republic Vitezslav Pivonka, The Ambassador of Austria Johannes Eigner, Deputy Head of the Department of External Economic and International Relations of the city of Moscow Evgeniy Drydze, the Artist of the Installation Tatyana Ludanik, The Ambassador of Germany Geza Andreas von Gaire, Deputy Director of the 3rd European Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Oleg Krasnitsky, The Ambassador of Republic of Lithuania Eitvydas Bajarunas, The Ambassador of Republic of Finland Antti Helanterä.
The official opening of ‘The Fragment of The Berlin Wall’ was an important cultural and political event in the life of Moscow, which brought together the heads of diplomatic missions of Germany, France, Austria, Hungary, Finland, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and also representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the Department of External Economic and International Relations of the city of Moscow.
One of the most beautiful moments from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was an impromptu concert by Mstislav Rostropovich near Checkpoint Charlie. In memory of this event, at the closing ceremony of the installation, on November 9, the virtuoso cellist of the Moscow chamber orchestra Musica Viva Emin Martirosyan, like Rostropovich at one time, performed two works by Bach: Sarabanda from Suite No. 2 for cello solo in D minor and Burré from Suite No. 3 for cello solo.
After the symbolic deinstallation of ‘The Fragment of the Berlin Wall’ in Muzeon, the installation was moved to the Goethe German Cultural Center as a permanent exhibition.
«Personally, I get different thoughts looking at it. ‘The Fragment of the Berlin Wall’ is something cold, with painful memories of the division of my country, my people. Courageous people have overcome this wall. We Germans were very happy at that moment. And this is demonstrated by the crack that embodies what we call breaking the wall. When you look through a wall, you are looking forward. For me, the Berlin Wall was a symbol of the division of Europe; it embodies the entire controversial European history with all its ups and downs in the 20th century. This is our common history. And the will of the people for freedom, which was stronger than any walls and barbed wire».
Geza Andreas von Gaire
The Ambassador of Germany in Russia
The German Ambassador visited the artist’s studio, where he got acquainted the drawings, plans, samples of materials and plunged into the process of creating the art project.
«The meaning of the installation created by the Russian artist is a belief in a common peaceful future of peoples and a call to create a space of good-neighborliness and cooperation through common efforts. This inspires optimism and hope that people in Europe and the world will finally refuse to build the walls of misunderstanding and aggression that separate them».
to Geza Andreas von Gaire about ‘The Berlin Wall Crack’
Mass Media about the project:
‘CZECH TELEVISION’ (episode1)
‘CZECH TELEVISION’ since 15 minutes (episode2)
‘TV CULTURE’ (episode 1)
‘TV CULTURE’ (episode 2)
‘GERMAN MOSCOW NEWSPAPER’
Artist of the installation: