Artist: Lars Ramberg. Title: ‘Kapitalistischer Realismus’ 2015.
In the autumn of 2015, six large concrete sections from the Berlin Wall were permanently placed outside Trondheim kunstmuseum’s auxiliary gallery Gråmølna at Nedre Elvehavn. The tall, imposing sections are in themselves a historical monument, from a time when Europe was divided by ideological differences. Artist Lars Ramberg, who has been living and working in Berlin for many years, secured these six objects packed with symbolism for himself. With a simple, but effective appropriation, he then created his own artwork from the concrete blocks, commissioned by Trondheim municipality.
The six sections at Gråmølna stand in a row, like a wall, exactly as they stood at Potzdamer Platz in central Berlin in the period 1969–1989. Thus, they give a very real impression of the divided city and the stark contrasts defining Europe in the decades following World War II.
The German cultural monument has been given a new dimension by Lars Ramberg’s addition of the world SALE in bright blue, lit-up capital letters, mounted on the street facing side of the wall. The six wall sections in Ramberg’s artwork were among the last remaining that were available for sale. The rest of the Berlin Wall has been scattered across the world and exhibited as a reverse symbol from its original purpose: as a broken wall, a symbol of newfound freedom. In the case of Gråmølna, the six sections were acquired as raw material for an art installation. Ramberg hereby demonstrates how even a hated historical object has become a capitalist commodity, sold to the highest bidder for maximum profit. This gives the sculpture a certain tang, making it a wall of shame of a different kind.
‘Kapitalistischer Realismus’ can be interpreted as a twofold critique of society; on one hand, of Communism’s brute force, and on the other, of our present day and age, where everything and anything is for sale.