Cultural Monuments of GDR History

Collaboration with Simone Bogner
Forthcoming book, to be published by M Books, Weimar.

2015 –

The German Democratic Republic (GDR) Heritage Preservation Law of 1975 attached importance to cultural monuments, which helped contribute to an image of the GDR as its own sovereign nation. The law used Socialist Party testimonies to nominate buildings of the recent past under preservation orders. Testimones were gathered from regional planning offices in: Berlin, Cottbus, Dresden, Erfurt, Frankfurt-Oder, Gera, Halle, Karl-Marx Stadt, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Neubrandenburg, Potsdam, Rostock, Schwerin and Suhl.

This practice culminated in the unfinished book ‘Cultural Monuments of GDR History’ scheduled to be published in 1989. Historian Simone Bogner located the un-published manuscript in an archive. Since 2015 Simone Bogner and artist Adam Knight have been juxtaposing contemporary site photographs with the original testimonial texts. The book presents 360 objects connected to GDR history. These architectural objects challenge traditional typologies of monument, incorporating sites of artistic, industrial, scientific, technical and political importance. Throughout the project we work with sites that span processes of preservation, removal, relocation and modification. The urgency of work is often re-iterated through the number of sites that have been lost to planning and redevelopment. To what extent do the original unpublished manuscripts written by partisan socialists, constitute an act of historical witnessing and does the photographing of the absent image activate these sites in the present day? 


p.388 Rostock-Evershagen, Giebelgestaltungen

Knud-Rasmussen-Straße 12 mit Sonnengiebel, Fridtjof-Nansen-Straße und Dr. Nio-Stang-Straße