Friday, Oct. 23, the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery opened its latest show, The Wall in Our Heads: American Artists and the Berlin Wall, curated by Haverford Postdoctoral Writing Fellow Paul M. Farber. The show, which comes to campus after a well-received run last fall at the Goethe-Institut in Washington, D.C., gathers the work of 23 American artists, including Nan Goldin, Keith Haring, and Public Enemy’s Chuck D, who have all used the Berlin Wall as a site and symbol for global forms of division.
The exhibition, which commemorates the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Germany, also features the work of Lindy Annis, Alexandra Avakian, Jonathan Borofsky, Frank Hallam Day, Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab, Ron English, Allen Frame, Leonard Freed, Oliver Harrington, Carol Highsmith, James Huckenpahler, Allan Kaprow, Farrah Karapetian, Nilay Lawson, Oliver Miller, Adrian Piper, Stephanie Syjuco, Shinkichi Tajiri, Bill Van Parys and Reyes Melendez, and Lawrence Weiner.
The show’s opening was preceded by a conversation between Farber, the curator, and Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for The New York Times. The talk, which was held in Sharpless Auditorium, drew a standing-room-only crowd and covered art, the Cold War, gentrification, and the refugee crisis currently facing Europe. Kimmelman and Farber shared anecdotes in a lively dialogue on Berlin, weighing the presence of the city’s traumatic history with its sense of continuously being a space of “becoming” for its citizens, its guests, and even its architectural identity. Afterwards, a reception was held in the gallery, and several of the show’s featured artists were in attendance.