A cloudy autumn day in Berlin in the 1980s. Behind the colourfully painted wall lies a barren border strip, illuminated by the cold glare of search lights. The asisi panorama of the divided Berlin – DIE MAUER – gives you an impression of how life on both sides of the Wall felt and looked. The cylindrical steel rotunda created by Yadegar Asisi stands at the corner of Friedrichstraße and Zimmerstraße. The artist uses his 270° panorama, 15 metres high and 60 metres wide, to show everyday scenes on both sides of the Wall. The 1:1 scale gives you a life-sized impression of scenes from the partitioned city.
A view over the wall: from Kreuzberg to Mitte
Asisi lived in Kreuzberg in the 80s and has collected his memories in his Panorama. He tells detailed stories that, although they did not occur simultaneously, give an overall impression of the time.
During your visit you will walk along the four-metre high platform in the middle of the rotunda. On a day with a sunrise and sunset you will see grey, unkempt house façades, children playing, graffiti sprayers or drunks at a Currywurst stand in West Berlin. And GDR soldiers going about their patrols of the border strip and observing life in the western part of the city from their watchtowers. White slogans on red backgrounds exhort the citizens of the eastern part to remain loyal to the state, whereas colourful adverts drive on consumption in the west.
Fictitious panorama, genuine witnesses
The fictitious autumnal day in Berlin is supplemented by an exhibition of photographs from private collections from around 50 contemporary witnesses. Around 200 snapshots tell personal stories of everyday life in the shadow of the Wall. Scenes showing the residents of Kreuzberg and children playing in the yard of a GDR kindergarten or a bridal pair who had their picture taken on a balcony with the Wall in the background.
The focus is always on how people adjust to difficult circumstances to be able to lead a life that is as close to normal as possible – how the Wall and the divided city became everyday normality.