“A World Without Walls“:
An International Congress on "Soft Power", Cultural Diplomacy and Interdependence

(Berlin; November 6th - 9th, 2009)

"Berlinīs Wall Art" - Heinz J. Kuzdas

Friday, November 6th, 2009 (19:30)
The ICD House of Arts and Culture, Kurfürstendamm 207-208, Berlin


For years, the Berlin Wall represented a symbol of division between the free world and communist world, the West and the East, and most directly between East and West Berlin. In addition to serving as a physical divider, it also stood as a canvas for artists on the western side to express themselves and comment on the political and social themes of the day. The photography of Heinz Kuzdas documents this artistic development of the Berlin Wall. His comprehensive coverage of “Berlin Wall Art” preserves today the social commentary of the art which was lost with the fall of the wall in 1989. Heinz J. Kuzdas was born in Künzelsau, in South-West Germany. He's been living in Berlin since 1972 and has lived in France, the USA, Canada and South America. Kuzdas studied Philosophy and Medicine at the Freie Universität Berlin, has worked as a medical coordinator, as a journalist and photo journalist and has organized several exhibitions abroad and within Germany.

Introduction by Walter Momper (Mayor of Berlin 1988-1990)
On November 9th, 1989 the Wall that once divided Berlin lost its function. It was a product of the Cold War. But with the pulling-down of the Wall, many of the sometimes beautifully painted parts are bound to disappear as well. We have no regrets for the Wall but we will sure miss the Wall Art. It is therefore important and enriching to document these artworks for the generations to come. It is important for the Wall to be remembered for being a concrete proof of political failure as well as for the way people got adjusted to and integrated it into everyday life by painting it. Art challenged concrete and art won.

Introduction by Heinz J. Kuzdas
The Berlin Wall was also a unique collective artwork, which changed daily and often overnight – paint actions disappeared the next day by some bodies new work of art or was modified in new surprising ways. There was of course controversy – some people saw in painting the Wall only disgusting cosmetics, others similar to the historical wall-newspapers in China, a somehow index of »Zeitgeist« – mood index continuum – as one wrote on the Wall. But here we observed colorful, new irony art, misusing and transforming a depressing horrible perfected inhuman and dangerous borderline and turning it into the longest canvas of art. Something came into existence for what we owe recognition and gratefulness to the many known and unknown who participated. So far there was no such intention from the official public. There are so many who only desire to keep alive the memory of the Wall of death and barbed wire.

Online Exhibition

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Photos out of the published book:
Berlin Wall Art/Berliner Mauer Kunst -Photo-Doku 1982-90 German/English/French/Spanish 
by Heinz J. Kuzdas, 2009- 10th Edition -Espresso Verlag ISBN 3-88520-634-X