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12/06/2023 11:35

Art in the GDR and its revolutionary romances: See the TUD research project at the Dresden State Art Collections

Betty Baumann Pressestelle
Technische Universität Dresden

    The “Revolutionary Romances” exhibition at the Albertinum of the Dresden State Art Collections (SKD) explores the “friendly revolutionary” relations of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) with the countries of the Global South. Through cooperation, TU Dresden contributed to the exhibition. Kerstin Schankweiler, TUD Professor of Visual Culture Studies in a Global Context, has been conducting research on the same topic. In addition to artwork created in the GDR by East German and international artists, the exhibition features video interviews with contemporary witnesses, which are the result of the “Art in Networks. The GDR and its Global Relations” research project.

    The completed “Art in Networks” project also investigated the diverse international, artistic relationships of the GDR to countries of the Global South, but focused more on conversations with contemporary witnesses. A selection of the resulting video interviews can now be seen at the SKD. Among those interviewed are the painter and graphic artist Abed Abdi, a Palestinian-Israeli who studied at the Dresden University of Fine Arts in the mid-1960s; the artist Sigrid Noack, who undertook a journey to South Yemen in 1983; as well as people involved in art and cultural policy and present-day researchers who explore the GDR’s international connections in the art world.

    For the finissage, SKD and TUD will hold a two-day conference on May 30 and 31, 2024 under the title “Reise(un)freiheit - Mobilitäten von Künstler:innen während des Kalten Krieges” ([No] Freedom of Movement – Mobility of Artists during the Cold War). The follow-up project to “Art in Networks” at the Chair of Prof. Kerstin Schankweiler – “Affektive Archive - Auslandsreisen von Künstler:innen zur Zeit der DDR” (Affective Archives - Artists' Journeys Abroad during the GDR), which is funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation – is involved in this project. 

    Content from “Art in Networks” and “Affective Archives” will be represented in the “Revolutionary Romances” exhibition catalogue by excerpts from interviews and a joint essay by Kerstin Schankweiler, Jule Lagoda and Nora Kaschuba. For even more insights into artistic relations in the GDR, with numerous other video interviews and text contributions, visit the specially developed interactive "Art in Networks" research platform ( available in German and English):

    The exhibition at the Albertinum will continue until June 2, 2024.

    Contact for scientific information:

    Prof. Kerstin Schankweiler 
    Chair of Visual Culture Studies in a Global Context 
    Managing Director of the Institute of Art and Music 
    Tel: +49 351 463-35710 
    Twitter: @kerstinschankw1

    More information: “Affective Archives” project website “Art in Networks” research platform  “Revolutionary Romances” exhibition


    “Revolutionary Romances” exhibition
    “Revolutionary Romances” exhibition
    Oliver Killig

    Criteria of this press release:
    Journalists, all interested persons
    Art / design, Cultural sciences
    transregional, national
    Miscellaneous scientific news/publications, Research projects


    “Revolutionary Romances” exhibition

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