Film Dust Altes Gaswerk

Betina Kuntzsch

Drilling rigs and chimneys, enveloped in spider webs and shattered glass. The Thälmann memorial as a monumental cardboard model, scored with the traces of time even before the bronze Thälmann was cast. In 1982, Betina Kuntzsch photographed the gas works in Prenzlauer Berg that had been abandoned the previous year; the scheduled demolition of the historic gasometer unleashed a wave of civic protest entirely new to East Germany. Visions and concepts for cultural use were developed, but it was nevertheless blown up in 1984.
Thirty years later, Kuntzsch scanned the negatives, which had since been damaged by water in her studio, and exposed them on photographic paper – together with the dirt and dust, water spots and tears visible in the emulsion. The documentary images contain time loops.
In her photographs and videos, the artist, who was born in Berlin in 1963 and studied at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig, works deliberately with material defects and artefacts, discovers vanished content, and generates memories of transience – including the transience of utopias.