Conscious Inability – the Gabriele Stötzer Archive is an exhibition, research and mediation project in three parts. The walk − in archive presents Stötzer’s artistic practice in the context of the GDR in the 1980s, and invites visitors to take part in an active discussion.
The archive shows a changing selection of Stötzer’s artworks in conjunction with documentary material collected by the artist herself, positioning her practice, mostly of a collective nature, within a body of work created by female artist groups and protagonists from Erfurt’s subcultural scene in the social context of the late GDR.
Based on her own artistic practice, the artist Paula Gehrmann develops spatial installations that react to Stötzer’s works and enter into a dialogue with them. At the same time, they comment on and expand the conception of the archive.
The first part of the project dealt with the nature of archives and the mechanisms of (social) attribution and allocation. Part 2 now focuses on Stötzer’s activities within the social and political setting of the late GDR. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between Stasi control and experimentation with alternative forms of expression in the design of social and artistic spa-ces for action. The title Conscious Inability – a quote by Stötzer – refers in this context to the strategic infi ltration of social and artistic norms.
In the accompanying and mediation programmes, various social actors explore the archive, opening up their own perspectives on the material presented. Discussions are held on the significance of Stötzer’s activity in the present day.