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23 Sep 2009

WITHOUT US! A four sites exhibition in Dresden

Helge Leiberg: Komplexe Wege.
1989, Acryl auf Leinwand, 154 cm x 180 cm,
Sammlung des Künstlers
© VG Bild Kunst
Courtesy Galerie Michael Schultz, Berlin



24.09.2009 - 17.01.2010


c/o riesa efau,
Adlergasse 4,
D-01067 Dresden

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The exhibition WITHOUT US! Art and alternative culture in Dresden is the first to present in detail the underground culture which proliferated in Dresden from the 1950s to the end of the 1980s and whose influence radiated out to significantly shape the nonconformist art scene in East Germany.

At four sites (the Motorenhalle, the Prager Spitze, the Bautzner Straße memorial centre, and Dresden town hall atrium), the exhibition presents works by nonconformist artists who turned down a Socialist career to make Dresden a hub of the dissident arts. At the same time it documents the perfidious methods the Socialist party and the Stasi employed to repress “alternative culture” in Dresden. Moreover, the exhibition cleverly integrates pieces by younger artists looking for continuities and ruptures in the way the social role of art is determined.

The WITHOUT US! exhibition will open at its four sites on the following days:

23 September 2009 at 8 p.m.
at the Bautzner Straße memorial centre (Bautzner Str. 112a)

At a fundamental setting for state repression, the former Stasi district detention centre, artists will be reflecting on the topic of “Art and Power”. This section will open with a performance by the women’s group led by Gabriele Stötzer, who stormed the Stasi headquarters in Erfurt on 4 December 1989.

24 September 2009 at 7.30 p.m.
in the Prager Spitze (Prager Str. 2a, 3rd floor)

At this site, nonconformist artists will be presenting works created between the early 1950s and the end of the 1980s. Some essential works and groups of works are to be shown in Dresden for the first time, including the twelve-part group of sculptures “Society apokalyptisch” by Hartmut Bonk. The selected pieces come from every genre and are placed in context by contemporary artworks.

24 September 2009 at 9 p.m.
in the Motorenhalle (Wachsbleichstr. 4a)

This section of the exhibition relates to the Malstrom exhibition shown in 1986 in the “Haus am Waldsee” in West Berlin. It brings together works by artists who fled East Germany, such as Ralf Kerbach, Helge Leiberg, Wolfram Adalbert Scheffler, Hans Scheib, Cornelia Schleime and Reinhard Stangl. The exhibition includes these artists’ main works, among others.

7 October 2008 at 6 p.m.
in the town hall atrium (Dr.-Külz-Ring 19)

The fourth part of the exhibition will open in the atrium: an installation will be presented providing information about the conditions under which Dresden’s artistic subculture existed. This part of the exhibition rounds off the art collection with photographs, archive material and as yet unseen documents from private collections in Dresden.