Friday, 2 December 2011

Kiss of death? Understanding the Vandalism of the Berlin Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under the National Socialist Regime

By S. Thomson
This display explores a string of vandalism in 2008 at the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under the National Socialist Regime in Berlin’s Tiergarten park. The poster identifies the events and probes the roots of homophobia in contemporary Germany. Many thanks to the memorial’s artists, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston director Bill Arning.
Target audience: This poster would be displayed before the memorial as a supplement to the current plaque that details the history of persecution of homosexuals from 1935 onward.
S. Thomson will discuss details on why he decided to pursue 'Kiss of death' below. He will also tell us some really interesting details of his research.


  1. I initially was looking into researching the artists' project in the small west Texas town of Marfa. There, the duo built a "sculpture" that looks like a replica of a Prada store in the middle of the desert, which has since become the victim of vandalism. Upon further research, I realised that this wasn't their only work that has been vandalized. Because of its European urban context, I decided to research their memorial to homosexual Holocaust victims in Berlin. By far the most rewarding part of the research process was talking to one of the Berlin-based artists, Ingar Dragset, who illuminated the design process and his thoughts on vandalism. Ultimately, he admitted that the vandalism may have just been committed by idle bystanders rather than being a politicised act of homophobia.

  2. Do you think the vandalism may have raised the profile of the art work?
    And, can you give us the link to the Youtube video?
    Thank you! Very subtle design, sort of understated but becomes really poignant as you read on...


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