On the 21st of June 2018, A.S.S.-Collective and a group of artists and activists gathered in front of the Ernst-Thälmann monument to spend 24 hours together. Questions concerning the effects of dominant histography on todays cities and public sphere and the examination of alternative narratives formed the basis of their joint gathering. Navigating through Walter Benjamin’s notion of the dialectical image, the actors search for ways to produce a “flash of awakening” in this historical narrative. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 the monument has been left to its own devices: the floodlights intended for lighting have been switched off, the forecourt littered with broken glass and the pedestal full of graffiti—Thälmann sleeps in the dark.
The lecture will take us on a half-awake jourey from atomic bunkers to a graveyard in Sofia. We ask ourselves: why aren’t we able to wake up?
A.S.S.-Collective is an artist-duo based in Berlin: Mizu Sugai (*1989, Tokyo) and Jonathan Jung (*1987, Hamburg). Located at the intersection of social and political practice and its artistic translations, A.S.S.-Collective operates mostly with collaborative formats such as performances, happenings and filmmaking.