The Reconnoiters

Four-part installation (I-IV)

Various

2016

A four-part research project that uses two forms of research material. Firstly  architectural objects drawn from ‘Monument of the GDR’ – an ongoing photographic project that documents historical sites of importance in the former East Germany.

Secondly the East German film ‘The Architects’; whose pre and post-production spanned the dissolution of the GDR in 1989/90.

The work looks at the role of the contingent in the recent past, through the combination of documentation, footage, screenplays and objects. Ruptures and connections between these elements form the conceptual basis for the project. Aspects of documentary and fiction collapse to re-assess representations in the politics of architecture and contingent practices.

I

Screenplay developed from the film The Architects (dir. Peter Kehane, 1990) one of the last films to be produced by the East German film board (DEFA).

II

Archive footage originating from Monument #365 DEFA-Studio for Documentary Film, Potsdam. The Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft (DEFA), was the state-owned film studio in the German Democratic Republic.  The footage is interspersed with screenplay directions developing contingent moments established in part I.

III

East German foreign-trade company Limex-Bau were awarded a contract to dismantle and market fragments of the Berlin Wall to international buyers. Official pieces of the Berlin Wall were issued with an accompanying certificate of authenticity produced by Limex-Bau. 360 segments were distributed across the globe, with profits eventually going to historical preservation funds. During the 1980s Limex-Bau was part of a trade contract between the GDR and Ghana which exported construction services for cocoa beans.

IV

As part of an on-going project with Simone Bogner photographing former cultural monuments of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), totalling 360 objects. Photograph taken at Engelhardstraße 11 & 13 in Berlin

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I

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4-part screenplay based on ‘The Architects’ dir: Peter Kehane (1990) Photocopies, Gesso & Cement, Powder-coated steel frame | 39cm x 34cm x 68cm

II

Edited and looped footage from digitised DEFA archive with text | 2’12 | colour | no sound

III

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Fence Panel Gauze | Concrete casts from fake piece of Berlin Wall | Ghanian Cocoa Beans

IV

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Monument #51 Prototype Prefab Construction Frieze, Berlin (detail) | Mounted digital photograph on aluminium (Simone Bogner) | 100cm x 22cm