Kein schöner Land (There is no more beautiful land/country)

Hans Haacke

Location: Berlin, Germany

Project Description: In 2006, as part of a retrospective at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, I commemorated the 45 foreign workers who were murdered in Germany since the reunification of the country on the building’s façade. Title “Kein schöner Land (There is no more beautiful land/country).” The title is the first line of an old German folksong. More immigrant workers have been murdered since.

The translation of the central line of text on the façade is “Because they did not look German.” The Akademie der Künste is located on Pariser Platz immediately across from the Brandenburg Gate and the French embassy, and next door to the US embassy. The Reichstag, the seat of the Bundestag (German Parliament), is in 5 minutes walking distance, and visible from the second floor of the Akademie.

Wallpapered on the entrance wall of my show was the photo of an “exchange doll” I found it at London’s Childrens Museum in Bethnal Green a few years earlier.”

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