The Federal Republic of Germany took over the Presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 July and initiated a European cultural programme with the focus on the European public sphere and European solidarity. The Goethe-Institut is fortifying its previous European engagement with a series of Europe-wide projects carried out in collaboration with its partners in the EU member states. The Goethe-Institut’s contribution to the cultural programme of the Federal government focuses on the questions: What constitutes Europe going forward and how can Europeans achieve cohesion even in the time of the coronavirus? The Goethe-Institut’s Europe-wide discourse and art projects are dedicated to the diversity of Europe and the creation of a common European public.
In the context of the cultural programme of the German EU Council Presidency 2020, the Goethe-Institut will set up “The Disappearing Wall”, an interactive art installation, in the public space commemorating Europe’s diversity of languages and ideas. “The Disappearing Wall” will be presented in ten European countries from August to November.
“The Disappearing Wall” installation is based on an idea proposed by Maria Jablonina in a workshop carried out by the architect and engineer Werner Sobek. It consists of a Plexiglas frame in which around 6,000 wooden blocks showing original and translated quotes are inserted. These quotes were collected in the spring by local contests in Europe initiated by the Goethe-Institut. The spectrum of submitted quotes ranges from a Beatles lyric, an idea by Hannah Arendt, lines from the film Amélie and from Winnie the Pooh to statements by Adorno, Rosa Luxemburg, Sartre and Jonas Mekas. Through pulling out the wooden blocks, the wall disappears and becomes permeable – will you help destruct the wall?