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As early as 1986, Betina Kuntzsch would have had some alternatives for the monument: heroes or heroines with a human face – Rosa Luxemburg in a huge flower garden or Sigmund Jähn, the first German in space. Role models who would have opened up spaces for thought rather than a colossus on a dreary parade ground to kneel down before in servility.

Her minimalist intervention counters the socialist brutalism with an inviting, vibrant colourfulness, and its five usable elements create a free space for people of different generations and backgrounds. The films relating to the location can be downloaded via QR codes found on the coral-red pedestals, but the space can also be simply occupied and animated imaginatively at one’s leisure.

During the development process, the artist not only researched archives but also listened to the people who live here, pass by, or stroll through, eavesdropping to discover their wishes, ideas, and visions: a place to dance or make music, a temporary court to play basketball, an open-air cinema on warm days, or just a place to relax.

THINKING FROM THE PEDESTAL is an artistic commentary, therefore, but also a daily invitation to free participation: a special form of participation with no guidelines. All that matter are spontaneity, creativity and the needs of the users. A meeting place for talking, arguing and reconciling. Or simply to rest, to think…

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