Comrade Builders

Die Genossen Bauarbeiter

Constructing meaning - <em>SL Wong</em>.
Constructing meaning.

When we chanced upon this sculpture, its ugliness stopped us in our tracks. Then we realised how much of an anomaly it was.

Dating back to 1972, this three-panel DDR-era socialist realist bronze work perched behind the main Alexanderplatz square. As its name suggests, the Bauarbeiter-Denkmal glorified construction workers in the best proletarian sense.

Forty years later, it stood alone in the midst of contemporary commercial space. These were spaces which would have made its sculptor, Gerhard Rommel, turn in his grave.

But were its contemporary surroundings any less ugly? And what ideology were they glorifying? ω

Experienced: 14.10.2012 || Recounted: 31.03.2013

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