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Disappearing Wall
European Diversity

Opening of the “Disappearing Wall” in the Polish city of Poznan
Opening of the “Disappearing Wall” in the Polish city of Poznan | Photo (detail): © Malta Festival Poznań 2020, Fot. Maciej Zakrzewski

The interactive wall installation “Disappearing Wall” combines quotes from European high and pop culture to demonstrate Europe’s diversity – it will be shown in 17 cities in ten countries this year. On 30 August the wall was unveiled in Gdansk.

Whether it’s a quote from Hannah Arendt, a lyric from a Beatles tune, a line from the film Amélie, or a statement by the Hungarian Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész, the quotes chosen in local competitions for the installations are diverse. Now they are being engraved – in the original language and in translation – on 6,000 wooden blocks. The blocks form the core elements of the “Disappearing Walls” – public space installations that will be set up in central locations in ten European countries from summer 2020. The countries involved include Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain/Northern Ireland, Poland, Lithuania, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus.

Impressions of the Opening in SEGOVIA

Vorschaubild Video Verschwindende Wand - Eröffnung in Segovia, HAY Festival
Celia de Coca
Eröffnung Verschwindende Wand - HAY Festival Segovia, 18. September 2020

Impressions of the opening in Gdansk

  • A visitor looks through the interactive installation of the “Disappearing Wall” Photo (detail): Bartosz Bańka © Goethe-Institut
    Shortly after the opening, the first citation blocks were already gone: On Sunday, 30 August 2020, the “Disappearing Wall” was unveiled in Gdansk.
  • At the opening of the “Disappearing Wall” in Gdansk (from left to right): Cornelia Pieper, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Gdansk, Nicola Beer, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Piotr Kowalczuk, Vice-President of the City of Gdansk, and Christoph Bartmann, Director of the Goethe-Institut Warsaw Photo (detail): Bartosz Bańka © Goethe-Institut
    At the opening of the “Disappearing Wall” in Gdansk (from left to right): Cornelia Pieper, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Gdansk, Nicola Beer, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Piotr Kowalczuk, Vice-President of the City of Gdansk, and Christoph Bartmann, Director of the Goethe-Institut Warsaw
  • A man unveils the interactive installation. Photo (detail): Bartosz Bańka © Goethe-Institut
    The interactive installation was unveiled on Sunday afternoon (30.8.) in Gdansk ...
  • Visitors* pull wooden blocks with quotations printed on them out of the wall. Photo (detail): Bartosz Bańka © Goethe-Institut
    ... afterwards the visitors were allowed to take home a quotation on a wooden block.
  • Nicola Beer, Vice-President of the European Parliament, speaks at the opening of the “Disappearing Wall” in Gdansk. Photo (detail): Bartosz Bańka © Goethe-Institut
    Nicola Beer, Vice-President of the European Parliament, speaks at the opening of the “Disappearing Wall” in Gdansk.
  • Big rush at the opening of the “Disappearing Wall” in Danzig Photo (detail): Bartosz Bańka © Goethe-Institut
    Big rush at the opening of the “Disappearing Wall” in Danzig
  • Visitors* pull wooden blocks with quotations printed on them out of the wall. Photo (detail): Bartosz Bańka © Goethe-Institut
    Little by little the wall disappears: the quotations were all taken away after only a short time.
  • The guests at the opening of the “Disappearing Wall” (from left to right ): Aleksandra Szymańska (Head of Instytut Kultury Miejskiej), Magdalena Adamowicz (Member of the European Parliament and widow of the assassinated Mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz) with her daughter, Cornelia Pieper (Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Gdansk), interpreter, Nicola Beer (Vice-President of the European Parliament), Piotr Kowalczuk (Vice-President of the City of Gdansk) and Christoph Bartmann (Director of the Goethe Institute Warsaw). Photo (detail): Bartosz Bańka © Goethe-Institut
    The guests at the opening of the “Disappearing Wall” (from left to right ): Aleksandra Szymańska (Head of Instytut Kultury Miejskiej), Magdalena Adamowicz (Member of the European Parliament and widow of the assassinated Mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz) with her daughter, Cornelia Pieper (Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Gdansk), interpreter, Nicola Beer (Vice-President of the European Parliament), Piotr Kowalczuk (Vice-President of the City of Gdansk) and Christoph Bartmann (Director of the Goethe Institute Warsaw).
  • A quotation from climate activist Greta Thunberg on a wooden block. Photo (detail): Bartosz Bańka © Goethe-Institut
    A quotation from climate activist Greta Thunberg on a wooden block.

Impressions of the opening in Poznan

  • A woman stands in front of the installation of the “Disappearing Wall” and reads a quotation Photo (detail): © Malta Festival Poznań 2020, Fot. Maciej Zakrzewski
    At the opening of the “Disappearing Wall” in the Polish city of Poznan on Monday, August 24, 2020
  • People stand before the “disappearing wall” Photo (detail): © Malta Festival Poznań 2020, Fot. Maciej Zakrzewski
    Big rush: Every visitor has the opportunity to take a block of quotes home with them.
  • People stand before the “disappearing wall” Photo (detail): © Malta Festival Poznań 2020, Fot. Maciej Zakrzewski
    At the opening of the “Disappearing Wall” in the Polish city of Poznan on Monday, August 24, 2020
  • Quotations from Lewis Carroll and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on wooden blocks Photo (detail): © Malta Festival Poznań 2020, Fot. Maciej Zakrzewski
    Submitted quotations from Lewis Carroll and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on wooden blocks
  • People stand before the “disappearing wall” Photo (detail): © Malta Festival Poznań 2020, Fot. Maciej Zakrzewski
    At the opening of the “Disappearing Wall” in the Polish city of Poznan on Monday, August 24, 2020
  • People stand before the “disappearing wall” Photo (detail): © Malta Festival Poznań 2020, Fot. Maciej Zakrzewski
    Big rush: Every visitor has the opportunity to take a block of quotes home with them.
  • People stand before the “disappearing wall” Photo (detail): © Malta Festival Poznań 2020, Fot. Maciej Zakrzewski
    Big rush: Every visitor has the opportunity to take a block of quotes home with them.
  • Submitted quotations from Lewis Carroll and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on wooden blocks Photo (detail): © Malta Festival Poznań 2020, Fot. Maciej Zakrzewski
    Submitted quotations from Lewis Carroll and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on wooden blocks
After the installation’s unveiling, passers-by will be permitted to take a block of quotes home with them. All that will remain is the transparent Plexiglas grid that held them: the wall will disappear. The interactive wall installation “Disappearing Wall” is based on an idea proposed by Maria Yablonina in a workshop carried out by the architect and engineer Werner Sobek and initiated by the Goethe-Institut.

Submitted quotations - illustrated by artists

Dates and locations of the Disappearing Walls*:

  • 24 to 27 August: Poznań
  • 30 August to 1 September: Gdańsk
  • 18 September: Segovia (Spain)
  • 18 to 20 September: Warsaw
  • 19 to 20 September: Antwerp
  • 25 September: Vilnius
  • 25 to 27 September: Thessaloniki
  • 1 to 10 October: Torino
  • 3 to 4 October: Brussels
  • 10 to 21 October: The Hague
  • 24 to 25 October: Nicosia
  • 24 October to 1 November: Rotterdam
  • 5 to 8 November: Namur (Belgium)
  • 6 to 8 November: Madrid 
  • 11 to 15 November: Milan 
  • 14 November: Barcelona

*subject to change

The “Disappearing Wall” is a project by the Goethe-Institut. Supported with special funds from the Federal Foreign Office for the German EU Council Presidency. 
Hellgrünes Logo des Goethe-Instituts auf weißem Grund Logo EU 2020





 

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