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Disbelieving Joy

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To mark the 25-year anniversary of Hamburg's Deichtorhallen exhibition centre, the artist Christian Jankowski has created an installation titled Ungläubiges Glück (Disbelieving Joy). It can be experienced for only the briefest time – on the jubilee day from 17.00 to 21.00.

The artwork will be set up as a large-scale installation on Deichtorhallen Square, between the two Deichtorhallen buildings. The active construction site that is currently situated on the square will become an integral part of the installation: the northern Deichtorhallen building, which is entirely fenced off for renovation works, becomes an allegory for the former GDR, surrounded by the site barrier which symbolises the Wall.

Disbelieving Joy consciously and excessively exaggerates the importance of the opening of the Deichtorhallen on 9 November 1989. It inverts the order of significance of the two simultaneous events of that night, at times crossing over into the fantastical and emotionally theatrical. At the same time however, the installation contains serious questions as to what art can do for the individual, and just how defining some encounters with art can be. Can art emulate an epochal historical event? Does it have the power to initiate movements of a similar magnitude?

The website deichtorhallen25.de presents a retrospective of the venue's 25-year history. Visitors are invited to post photographs of their own exhibition experiences at the Deichtorhallen in the past 25 years.

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