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A conference response to the proposal for Monument to Revolution (After Mies) by Sanja Iveković and the exhibition Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein! at the daadgalerie, Berlin.

With: Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen, Boris Buden, Jodi Dean, Ekaterina Degot, Andrew Herscher, Ralf Hoffrogge, Sanja Iveković, Sami Khatib, Gal Kirn, Susanne Leeb, Antonia Majaca, Bojana Pejić, Gerald Raunig, Branimir Stojanović, Thomas Thiele, Milica Tomić, Jelena Vesić, Siegbert Wolf, and Ross Wolfe.

Curated by Antonia Majaca

A production of the DAAD’s Artists-in-Berlin Program in collaboration with HAU Hebbel am Ufer.

3.–4. Juli 2015, 16–21 Uhr
HAU 1

Dayticket: € 8 (reduced € 5)

HAU 1
Stresemannstraße 29
10963 Berlin
www.hebbel-am-ufer.de
Memorial For(u)ms – Histories of Possibility

Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen, Boris Buden, Jodi Dean, Ekaterina Degot, Andrew Herscher, Ralf Hoffrogge, Sanja Iveković, Sami Khatib, Gal Kirn, Susanne Leeb, Antonia Majaca, Bojana Pejić, Gerald Raunig, Branimir Stojanović, Thomas Thiele, Milica Tomić, Jelena Vesić, Siegbert Wolf, and Ross Wolfe.

Curated by Antonia Majaca

A production of the DAAD’s Artists-in-Berlin Program in collaboration with HAU Hebbel am Ufer.

Hebbel am Ufer - HAU1
Stresemannstr. 29, 10963 Berlin
July 3 and July 4 – July 4, 2015
16.00 – 21.00h

Language: English

Sanja Iveković
"Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!"
06.06.2015 – 08.01.2015

daadgalerie
Zimmerstrasse 90,
10117, Berlin
Mo-Sa 11am – 6pm
www.daadgalerie.de


Memorial For(u)ms – Histories of Possibility

Sanja Iveković’s proposal to re-create the “Monument to Revolution” – a memorial from 1926 dedicated to Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, and the revolutionaries of the January 1919 uprising, is the departure point for the two-day conference titled “Memorial For(u)ms – Histories of Possibility.”

Commissioned by the German Communist Party in memory of the victims of the January Uprisings in 1919, the monument was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, built in 1926, and destroyed by the Nazis nine years later. Measuring 15 meters long, 6 meters high, and 4 meter wide, the radically modernist red brick structure had a flagpole with a large steel star bearing a hammer and sickle and was located at the edge of the Friedrichsfelde Cemetery in Berlin’s Lichtenberg district, where Liebknecht and Luxemburg were buried. Ever since its erection and long after its destruction, the memorial and gravesite have served as a major location for public rallies and processions of the different Left political formations throughout Berlin’s history.

In 2014, Sanja Iveković proposed reconstructing the monument as a public art project for the Danish city of Aalborg. Her proposal “Monument to Revolution (after Mies)” (2014) borrows its form and symbolic order from Mies van der Rohe’s monument, while it also privileges collaboration and participation, aiming to reflect these values through its process-based method of construction. The monument’s construction was envisioned as a long term, collaborative process of connecting diverse international anti-fascist and anti-capitalist initiatives, groups, and individuals in gathering the building material in an open-ended process.

The daadgalerie is currently presenting Iveković’ monument proposal within an exhibition of new works titled “Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!” (“I was, I am, I shall be!”). The exhibition takes its name from the last sentence of Luxemburg’s last published text before she and Karl Liebknecht were arrested and murdered: “’Order prevails in Berlin!’” You foolish lackeys! Your ‘order’ is built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will ‘rise up again, clashing its weapons,’ and to your horror it will proclaim with trumpets blazing: I was, I am, I shall be!’” The proposal for the construction of the monument, as well as a timeline documenting its existence, destruction, and the previous attempts of reconstructing it, are presented alongside some of the reflections, research, and documents that continue to shape the project. Like much of her work, especially her projects created for public spaces, Iveković’s concept for the construction of the Monument to Revolution functions on several levels: rather than being envisioned as simply an architectural project, it is meant to catalyze a debate on the construction and deconstruction of public memory as such.

The accompanying symposium “Memorial For(u)ms – Histories of Possibility” examines whether any aesthetic forms can be attached to an (unrealized) revolution and considers what values a monument reconstructed in the present-day might stand for. If commemoration itself should be understood as a procedure of depolitization, always necessarily orchestrated by the political force that comes to power after blood has been spilled in the revolution, then what kind of discursive and aesthetic form can be attached to a (failed/unfinished) revolution, if any? What would a reconstruction of the “Monument to Revolution” stand for today? The two-day conference was conceived as an open forum that would not necessarily celebrate the idea of the reconstruction of the monument, nor discuss Sanja Ivekovic’s project per se. Rather, it is intended to develop as a response to the proposal, and a space for critically assessing the troubled relation between the notions of “revolution” and “commemoration.” Through the voices of artists, historians, historians of architecture and art, as well as political and cultural theorists and psychoanalysts, the very notion of the “monument to revolution” will be called into question: is it a contradiction in terms or, indeed, a revolutionary matter?

Recognizing the multiplicity of interdependencies in the formation of political memory, the conference encourages the formation of a space in which diverse actants – people and things, objects and subjects – start to speak and acquire the capacity to productively both encourage and challenge each other. Moreover, it proposes to understand such a forum of memorial recompositioning as a monument itself, or as a continuously expanding base for the impossible monument.

FRIDAY, July 3, 2015
Introduction
16.00-16.30
Ariane Beyn/ Bettina Klein: Welcome
Sanja Iveković: Monument as Public Happiness
Antonia Majaca: By Way of Introduction: Monument To Revolution – A Revolutionary Matter, An Object That Speaks, or a Contradiction in Terms?
I) The German Uprising and the Monument to Revolution
16.30 – 19. 00
Thomas Thiele: Destruction and after-effects: The “Monument to Revolution” by Mies van der Rohe in the Friedrichsfelde Cemetery (German with English translation)
Ross Wolfe: The Less said, the Better: Modern Architecture between Revolution and Reaction (Online participation)
Siegbert Wolf: Anarchism and Revolution – Gustav Landauer in Munich 1918/19
Ralf Hoffrogge: Revolution from Below: The Revolutionary Shop Stewards 1916-1918
Plenary, moderated by Gal Kirn

– 30 minute break –
II) Reform or Revolution?
19.30 – 21.00
Jodi Dean: Rosa Luxemburg - Symptom or Fetish?
Boris Buden: Communism Is What Memory Cannot Retrieve
Branimir Stojanović: Reform or Revolution? Yes, Please. (Serbian with English Translation)
Plenary, moderated by Ekaterina Degot

SATURDAY, July 4, 2015

III) Re-Politization Of Memory: With or Without a Material Remainder?
16.00 – 18.30
Bojana Pejić: Waiting for a Monument (to Revolution). Sanja Iveković at Work: Spatializing Collective Amnesia by Feminist Skepticism
Andrew Hersher: From the Politics of Memory to the Memory of Politics: The Socialist Monument In and After Yugoslavia (Online Participation)
Milica Tomić: How to Remember a Monument That Does not Exist and No Longer Participates in the Circulation of Representation?
Sami Khatib: Wo Es war, werde Ich gewesen sein - Marx, Benjamin, and the "Tradition of the Oppressed"
Plenary, moderated by Susanne Leeb
– 30 minute break –

IV) Precarity and Insurrectionary Memory
19.00 – 21.00
Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen: Repeating the Past as Insurrectional Memory and Break
Jelena Vesić: Gathering The Splinters Of Emancipatory Politics: Spatialization(s) of Revolution or a Monument to the Monument
Gerald Raunig: A Dividual Line Into the Past
Plenary, moderated by Antonia Majaca

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