New York

“BERLINART 1961–1987”

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

“BERLINART 1961–1987” was intended to celebrate this city as one of the great art capitals—a magnet for artists from all over Europe and the United States as well as Germany itself. Many of these foreign artists were invited by the Berlin Artists Program of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). As this exhibition is named for Berlin, one might expect it to illuminate something of the nature of the narrative spaces constructed by the city, the psychosocial dynamics involved, and their intersection with a context beyond the concerns of art history. For the most part, however, such signs can only be excavated as imaginary fragments.

For many of us, “Berlin” occupies the space of an ambivalent fantasy fueled by the romance of history and screen versions of the literary fictions of Christopher Isherwood and John Le Carré: ’30s vice juxtaposed with cold war political intrigue. The city

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