Freiheits- und Einheitsdenkmal



Collaboration with Jacqueline Burkhardt,


In the autumn of 1989, a growing number of courageous citizens in many cities of the GDR conquered their fear and rose against the totalitarian regime of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). Across the board, people were demonstrating for freedom and unity. The moral courage of individuals was the starting point of a movement that started with peaceful rallies and ended the division of Germany. The chant “We are the people!” became a crucial event important for the whole of Europe. This work of art shall be a memorial in remembrance of those who raised their voice in the autumn of 1989.

We were interested in discovering complex constrains and hidden processes that led to the capitulation of the state before its people. We propose to make the empty space the starting point of our thinking process. The citizens of Germany are asked to apply with a chair that “witnessed” an important moment in Germany’s history. All kind of different chairs from different eras and places represent the collective memory; at the same time, the people become the co-author. The memorial can be touched, used or climbed on, but it cannot be knocked over! The chairs are interconnected by invisible ropes. As soon as someone tries to knock over a chair, it is held up by the others; if one gets knocked over, another one is uplifted. It is a system that receives its strength and stability from below, from the collective, from the community.