Conscious Inability – The Gabriele Stötzer Archive shows Stötzer’s artistic practice in the context of East Germany in the 1980s. She worked mainly in collaborations with women and protagonists of a cultural scene that developed in opposition to the official cultural policy of the GDR. Stötzer herself collected extensive documentary material that embedded her practice in a social context.
As a walk-in archive installed at the GfZK for a period of one year, the Stötzer Archive is conceived as a space for exhibitions, research and mediation. Various social actors are invited to explore the different aspects of the archive and take part in discussions on the significance of Stötzer’s activity for the present day. The archive undergoes transformations, opening up continually new perspectives on the design of social and artistic spaces for action in the recent past and present. The title Conscious Inability – a quotation from Stötzer – refers to the strategic infiltration of social and artistic norms.
Based on her own artistic practice, the artist Paula Gehrmann develops spatial installations for the Stötzer Archive that comment and expand upon both Stötzer’s work and the conception of the archive. The selection of material on display changes in three overall stages, the focus of each part corresponding with the changing exhibitions shown in the GfZK New Building. The first part, which runs parallel to the exhibition anarchive, is concerned with Stötzer’s practice and reception as well as the nature of archives and the culture of remembrance with which they are associated.