When people flee to Berlin, where is it they are fleeing to? Over the course of two weeks, the Maxim Gorki Theatre is giving a platform to more than thirty artists and activists, and inviting them to reflect on this very question. In addition to contributions by artists, the Herbstsalon also features a daily programme of theatre productions, debates, and films, all exploring the theme of borders – both visible and invisible – and the divisions they create between communities in Berlin and throughout Europe.
One of the artworks is displayed on the Museumsinsel, where two sculptures by Maria Walcher can be seen beneath the waterline outside the Bode-Museum, as though washed up by the river. The title of the work, “Trasite”, is a word in the Calabrian dialect that translates roughly as “welcome” and is part of everyday speech in the southern Italian village of Riace. The name Riace is most famously associated with the so-called “Riace Bronzes”, two Greek statues discovered in waters just off the coast of the village. However, Riace also attracted international interest with its “Città Futura” project, which came about in 1998 when a boat containing 200 Kurdish people ran aground on a nearby shore. Locals decided to welcome the refugees into their community and to enlist their help in tackling problems resulting from the village’s depopulation and economic decline.
Maria Walcher was born in 1984 in Brixen, Italy, and now lives and works in Innsbruck. Walcher’s artworks are often site-specific and have been exhibited in a wide variety of locations, including the Charlama Depot, Sarajevo (2011), Die Färberei, Munich (2011), the Weimar Arts Festival (2014), and Quartaire Contemporary Art Initiatives, The Hague (2014).
The second Berlin Herbstsalon for the Maxim Gorki Theatre opens on 13th November 2015 at 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit: bit.ly/zweiter_herbstsalon