Did you know East German artists used their Stasi files as artwork after the fall of the Berlin wall? Ever heard of the Erfurt Women's Artists Group who stormed the Stasi Headquarters in their city? These were jaw-dropping facts I learned when I read Parallel Public - Experimential Art in Late East Germany by our guest today, Dr. Sara Blaylock, Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Sara's book is a masterpiece and reveals that experimential artists in the final years of the GDR did not practice their art in the shadows, on the margins, hiding away from the Stasi's prying eyes. Instead, these artists used media like photography, film, and performances to cultivate a critical influence over the very bureaucracies meant to keep them in line, undermining state authority through forthright rather than covert projects. Some East German artists made their country's experimental art scene a form of counter public life, creating an alternative to the crumbling collective underpinnings of the state. Let's hear from Sara about the incredible insights she gained through the interviews and work she conducted to put this amazing book together.
Be sure to purchase Sara's book using this link!
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