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The memorial art project "Denkzeichen 4. November 1989", run by Pat Binder and Gerhard Haupt from 1999 to 2003, commemorated the largest rally of the democracy movement in the GDR (German Democratic Republic - Eastern Germany). In an illuminated billboard on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, the project presented works by artists from different countries who deal with the individual and collective effort to establish and protect democratic conditions, as well as with the conflicts of the individual between adaptation and resistance, resignation and civil courage.
Jimmie Durham's artwork "You are here", specifically created for the project was exhibited on Alexanderplatz in Berlin from 4 February - 3 May 2000.
Jimmie Durham, You are here, 2000
Drawing and silk-screen print, 175 x 118 cm
For the web presentation of the "Denkzeichen 4. November 1989", Jimmie Durham also made an interactive Internet version of his drawing. Selected words and signs of the "map" light up when going over them with the mouse, and open pop-up windows with texts, and further images.
Whenever someone talks to me, what they say always reminds me of some story from my past, which I then proceed to tell. I bet people hate talking to me.
My ambition in life is to become a homeless orphan; to be in a state where I am not faithful to the past. In that case, why can I not stop the bad habit of telling stories? It is as though instead of being properly lost I am only confused... maybe just drunk or something.
Anyway, here is my advice: Believe nothing. Belief is an evil, inhuman phenomena. Humans evolved to question and to investigate; not to believe.
Now then, maps are mysterious to me; they relate to no part of the world except that of badly-folded, wind-blown paper. Trying to read a map is like trying to read someone's palm if you are not Romany.
But at least maps are excellent aides to becoming lost.
I do not (yet) speak German but I read dictionaries. They are like poetic maps wherein one can become beautifully lost in language.
And maybe my dictionary map reminds you of stories; in which case you will have found yourself. Surely, though, it is so badly drawn that you will not believe the stories.
On the 4th of November 1989, more than 500,000 people convened on Berlin's Alexanderplatz for the largest rally of the democracy movement in the GDR (Eastern Germany). The project by Pat Binder and Gerhard Haupt aimed to call attention to this event in the place in which it occurred.
From November 1999 to February 2003, works by a total of thirteen artists were presented for three months at a time in a light box on Alexanderplatz in Berlin.
Website of the project ►
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