Creative Alternatives

Creative Alternatives:  
Experimental Art & Cultural Politics in Berlin, 1971-1999 

Fotographie Verboten at the Berlin Wall

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 late 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, while providing images, video, and sound recordings documenting their work across the city over three decades. The following digital exhibits serve as evidence and illustration to the dissertation that shares the name of this website, completed in May 2017 by Briana Smith for the Department of History at the University of Iowa.