Cold War Art Project Finds Final Home In Los Angeles

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A Cold War guardhouse rescued from demolition has gone on display as an art installation in the heart of Los Angeles, as way to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The East German surveillance booth, one of thousands made in the 1970s, was originally planted in the parking lot of the state-run news agency ADN in Berlin.

Now it has traveled from Berlin to Los Angeles as an installation by German artist Christof Zwiener, who has organized several art exhibitions within the 2 meters (6.6 feet) by 1 meter (3.3 feet) booth for a single guard that was originally used to keep a close watch on news reporters.

“My idea was to show the transformation in Berlin but also the transformation since the Wall fell,” Zweiner said in an interview on Monday at the guardhouse’s newest temporary location along Wilshire Boulevard, near a permanent installation of remnants of the Berlin Wall.

The Berlin Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, kicking off revolutions against Communist rule throughout the Eastern Bloc that ended the Cold War.

The guardhouse will move across the city with different installations before finally reaching its resting place at the Wende Museum, which is dedicated to East German and Cold War artifacts in nearby Culver City.

Guardhouses were integral to East Germany’s sophisticated state surveillance, allowing spies to monitor peoples’ comings and goings.

The current exhibition “Key Delivery” by Berlin artist Sonya Schoenberger hangs some 2,000 keys from an abandoned East German police barracks inside the guardhouse.

“Key Delivery” reflects the “loss of power and loss of control” of the East German state security apparatus following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Zweiner said.

In the past year, around a dozen artists will have exhibited in the guardhouse by the time it finds its permanent home at the Wende Museum’s sculpture garden in November for the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s collapse.

Source : Reuters