Experimental Art & Grassroots Politics in Berlin, 1971-Present
Creative Alternatives examines artists in East and West Berlin experimenting with performance, installation, and action art from the early 1970s Cold War thaw through the 1990s. In the late twentieth century, Berlin artists and art collectives used interactive visual displays to launch social and political critiques, experiment with the blurring of art and life, and pursue alternative agendas under three political regimes: state socialist East Germany, liberal democratic West Berlin and unified Berlin of the 1990s. This website attempts to recover the work of these largely forgetten artists, connecting artistic projects to the political worlds of divided Berlin, the fall of communism, and the process of unification. Images, video, and sound recordings help to reconstruct this largely ephemeral work appearig across the city over three decades. The following exhibits provide a digital supplement to the book project, Creative Alternatives: Experimental Art and Grassroots Politics in Berlin, 1971-Present, by Briana J. Smith, currently a Lecturer in the History & Literature Program at Harvard.