The falling of the Berlin wall according to Tommaso Bonaventura

Exactly 30 years after the falling of the Berlin wall opens in Trento “100 marchi”, a photographic exhibition that retrace the German reunification from an unusual point of view.

Thirty years have passed since the Berlin wall has fallen, and it’s hard to believe that is still possible to say something new about both the event from an historic perspective and how Berlin itself, Germany, Europe and even the world have changed since November 9th 1989.

That day, that city and that wall have become milestones in a wider narrative, whose ending hasn’t been written already. And yet, by now considered temporal and geographic icons, the status of symbols has compelled them to dilute their representative potential up to a dangerously evocative, nostalgic and socio-politically ineffective dimension.

Avoiding the trap of a conceptual (if not ideological) pre-packaging, and embracing an almost historicist vision, photographer Tommaso Bonaventura and curator Elisa Del Prete have embarked the undertaking of recounting the anniversary not as a Big Event but as a less emphatic reflection of itself.

As the chronicle of a changing timefilmed several times by Edgar Reitz or the simple stories of new lives written by Ingo Schulze, the images shot by Bonaventura in Berlin between 2018 and 2019 for his “100 marchi” project are a pretty intimate and almost exquisitely private survey of what the German reunification has meant to the ones who experienced it first hand.

The main charachters are often peers of Bonaventura, who approached them aiming to an active, collective and non-obvious narrative: «Do you remember how did you spend your Begrüssungsgeld?» he asked them, calling to mind the 100Deutsche Marks that from 1970 to December 1989 were given to GDR citizen when they first visited West Germany.

Each picture is like a hyper-text, a flash that connects these little everyday stories to the one with capital ‘S’ without ever showing it. Moreover, being realised today, they also have the good side-effect of indirectly referring to completely (and often dramatically) contemporary issues as borders, extremism, hospitality and inclusiveness.

Already on display in Torino at CAMERA untill January 6th, “100 marchi” opens again by November 9th in Trento at Le Gallerie of Fondazione museo storico del Trentino, where it’s going to stay untill February 9th, and will be also open at CRAF in San Vito al Tagliamento from January 18th to March 22nd. 

100 marchi
Exhibition dates:
From 9 of November, 2019 to 6 of January, 2020
Curated by:
Elisa Del Prete
Le Gallerie, Fondazione museo storico del Trentino
Trento, piazza di Piedicastello

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