For our first research seminar of the Bidoun Library residency, Sophie-Therese Trenka-Dalton will take us through the processes leading to the development of ‘The Distance Narrows’, an artist publication project on the abandoned embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Berlin-Pankow. The embassy was built in the GDR in the early 1970s and in use for about 20 years until the German reunification in 1990. Though in a state of deterioration, traces of the embassy period – furniture, books, files – can still be found inside the building today.
Over the last year Sophie-Therese Trenka-Dalton and Hannes Schmidt have collected books from the site, dating from the 1950s through the 1980s. The material shows Iraq´s development from a young, Ba´athist country to a militarized nation under Saddam Hussein. For the publication project the artists developed a series of collages and photographs from the found materials.
The collected books from the former Iraqi embassy and sample copies of ‘The Distance Narrows’ will be on display as part of the Bidoun Library from 12July – 17 September 2011.