Why is it easier to find a wavy mirror today than a straight one? Henrike Naumann brings together a contemporary historical archeology of the legacies of postmodernism in Germany. What makes the ubiquity of copied postmodern designs what it is, and why is it so common in German everyday life? What social effects did the post-1990 postmodern construction boom have on the lives of people in what was once socialist East Germany? Is it possible to radicalize yourself through furniture? And what was that about the Expo 2000 in Hanover, the one whose senior organizer—former President of the Treuhand Agency—had been tasked with reprivatizing East German enterprises just a few years before?
Naumann takes the millenium changeover year as a starting point for a look at the 1990s in East and West Germany and the after-effects of postmodern design on German society. Based on her reflections, the Abteiberg Museum’s large, temporary exhibition space is transformed into a curious “German Pavilion”—an excavation site in which the ruins of postmodernism and German unification are exposed. The exhibition occupies the space between museum, trade fair stand, concept store, living room and ruin.
Expo 2000 and Terror 2000, Treuhand and Love Parade, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and techno DJ Dr. Motte, Generation Golf and German furniture retailer Möbel Höffner—it’s a German-German pavilion filled with objects and pieces of furniture selected subjectively and emotionally: from the artist’s archive, Exposeeum in Hanover and the living rooms of Mönchengladbach. Her video works, produced using both analogue and digital video formats, lie in the room like rubble from a near past, the antique clay fragments of our time.