It was exactly on 9 November 1989 that the Berlin Wall was pulled down. Its fall was significant both for Germany and for the whole world. From its inception, it symbolised the separation of a nation and the differences between people, ideologies and politics.
But let’s take a step back almost sixty years: The Wall was considered the concrete symbol of the imaginary borderline between the pro-western European areas. It surrounded West Berlin and divided the city in two for 28 years, from August 13, 1961 until November 9, 1989, when the East German government was forced to declare the reopening of the borders with the Federal Republic.
The foundations of the wall were erected almost overnight. Around midnight on 13 August, army officers rolled miles of barbed wire through the city to the outlying countryside. This event became known as the “Barbed wire Sunday”. Although the complex process of physical and ideological reunification of the country took about a year in total, November 9 is considered a reference day. To celebrate this anniversary, Los Angeles-based artist Patrick Shearn – renowned for his large kinetic installations that he calls “Skynets” – was commissioned to create a commemorative work for this date.
The commissioned work continues the dynamic series of ultra-light floating art installations, mounted in such a way as to appear as floating in mid-air.
The name of the installation is Visions in Motion and was exhibited to the public from 4 to 10 November and The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was chosen as the host location as it had previously been used as a dividing line.
The kinetic work covers an area of about two thousand square meters and thirty thousand partially reflecting ribbons that give movement thus decorating the city. The colours of the ribbons are yellow, light blue/blue and purple. The choice of the use of these shades was not a coincidence but studied as they recall and convey the idea of hope and the possibility of change, improvement, progress but also the memory of the Cold War.
Developing historical awareness is the first objective of this installation to ensure that nothing is forgotten and to prevent what happened in the past from being repeated in the future.
Text by Anna Cardaci