Klompching Gallery has extended “Berlin,” by Diane Meyer through January 25. The 43-piece exhibition opened in November 2019, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s the first time Meyer’s series, which was made over the course of seven years and traces the entire 96-mile path of the former Wall, has been shown in its entirety.
Applying her signature style, sections of the photographs have been obscured by cross-stitch embroidery, sewn directly into the photographs. In many images the embroidered sections represent the exact scale and location of the former Wall, offering a pixelated view of what would lie behind if the wall were in tact today. The colorful stitching “appears as a translucent trace in the landscape of something that no longer exists but is a weight on history and memory,” writes Klompching in the press release.
Though Meyer’s aim was to photograph locations with no visible traces of the wall itself, several of the photographs depict forthright evidence of its existence. For example, in “Former Guard Tower Off Puschkinallee,” the graffiti reaching up the old tower halts at almost the exact height of the broken wall, or about as high as an arm can reach. In another image, colorful concrete blocks remain positioned in front of Meyer’s embroidery to remind us that people had to use the blocks to communicate with friends and family over the disruptive architecture.
“The tearing down of the wall became emblematic of a changing world order–with the absence of the structure, as impactful as when it stood,” notes Klompching. The exhibition is especially timely, as it echoes the current divisive political dialogue surrounding the barrier wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
“The wall today is almost ghostlike,” says Meyer, “even though it isn’t there, you can still feel it.”