Walk with Irma Markulin


“As main route of my art-walk I’ve chosen the area between Petersburger Platz and Frankrurter Allee as a specific architectural buildings complex which inspires me daily. Petersburger Church, under the name of Pfingst Kirche, was build in early 1910s. Today it represents an historical monument surrounded by mixed style buildings (partly 60s-DDR style and partly old Berliner-Altbau style). This is directly linked to my work in a sense of mobile installations and exploration of the influence of the sacral architecture on public space and its unique role in East-Berlin 80s years. In that period of still existing Berlin Wall the role of sacral architecture became more profane playing an important part in the organization of many political student movements and demonstrations in the East Berlin during the DDR. In this way the sacral monument of Petersburger Street for example changes its function from religious to clearly political statement. And talking about monuments and their physiological impact on society there is no better example as the tower of Frankfurter Allee connected through Petersburger Street to the church tower of Petersburger Platz, together representing a real historical face of Berlin”. Irma Markulin


AT: Living in Berlin has influenced your research? How?
IM: The architectural ensemble is of best inspiration for me and serves almost as a projection wall for the subject I am exploring since I moved to Berlin. My work is inspired from body-movements in the theater 20s such as biomechanics movements or dance mass-performances from the school of R. Laban and M.Wigman. These choreographies stared as an Avant-garde movement and later have been misused as political propaganda where the best example can be found at the opening of Olympic games in Berlin 1936. In my work I explore the relations between the individual and the public state in one hierarchical political system and the power of political manifestation using mass-public-movements, certain sport manifestations in time of DDR and at least phenomena of the mass-spectacle where the subject with his own physical body becomes one with the political movement. These explorations are part of my working process  and are represented in big size installations mostly in places of historical meaning which gives right form to the entire work.
These are important signs of my work which have been defined in relation to my own experiences growing up in one socialistic land and reflected through my new life-style and historical sights of Berlin.

AT: From where arise these kind of interests?
IM: The interest of my researches and themes are deeply linked to my own experiences that I am rconsidering in a new way since I am living in Berlin. These are mostly experiences from my childhood in the socialistic Jugoslawien, my own family-story in a politic struggle or my individual experiences through the war in Bosnien.

Irma Markulin  (Banja Luka / Bosnia Herzegowina, 1982)

She moved to Berlin, where she lives and works, after the conflict that had involved the states of the Ex Yugoslav.
Her research starts from here: a very deep research about her individual experience both in the contest of the Yugoslavian socialism and family dynamics during the war.
Her painting cycles of big dimensions and clear strokes describe huge parades and “Days of Youth”. Through the colors, white, black and grey, we can perceive the induced subordination and the loss of the individual in the big regime crowds of people.
Her installations also link her experiences to the political history. In a series of work important historical structures, that have been destroyed or demolished, are reconstructed.
In some dedicated self-portrait she plays the role of the benefactor who keeps the models of those buildings in her arms.
She graduates in 2009 and then she gets a Master in Visual Art in 2011 at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee.
She won many important prizes. Among them the Elsa Neumann Award of the State Berlin.

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Photos: Art & Tours, Walk with Irma Markulin, 5 October 2012