Exhibition Daniel Boulogne

Daniel Boulogne
" The Berlin Wall "

Caen Memorial - DHM

I - From Paris
II - Through East border
III - "Rabbit For Ever"
IV - Just in front the Wall


III - " Rabbit For Ever "

What happened next is told by Matt Jacob's photographs better than anyone could explain. Thomas Kraft depicted in broad outline a dancer balancing on a dragonfly. Over her head, a compass has gone berserk, mixing up East and West.

Raine Ziegers painted a fine white stallion rearing up, André Grossmann, a wreath of flowers devoid of deathly overtones – except perhaps to cheerfully bury a régime held in contempt.

Sylvia Albu did a huge self-portrait as a woman shouting.

Further on, a huge hand shows the way. Not a clenched Revolutionary fist. Nor a V for Victory sign. More modestly, the will just to prove movement by walking. To go off together in the same direction. The best-known fresco is the one painted by Manfred Butzmann: in a yellow sky, rabbits are jumping around amid carrot-shaped stars. This was what hit the front pages of FRANCE SOIR in France and was reproduced in VSD, LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR, À SUIVRE and many other publications besides. There is a story behind those rabbits.

In 1972, parents in the Parkstrasse at Berlin-Parkow had to fight to obtain somewhere for their children to play.

They ended up setting up a playground themselves on a car park area.

When it was opened, the children made a celebration of it and Manfred drew a flag with rabbits on it, the flag was raised for the first time on that occasion. Ever since, there has been an autumn fête and it is called the rabbit fête.

Manfred's rabbit symbolizes pacifism, the distress of being helpless, and innocence.

There used to be rabbits running wild in Berlin. They used to live where it was dangerous for humans: in "death row" which ran along the Wall and among other things crossed the Potsdamerplatz.

Manfred Butzmann added a slogan that summed up the aspiration of artists in the East for a "quiet revolution" and went round the world: Rabbit for Ever. He used black, red and yellow, the colours of the German flag, as if the concept of the nation had to be inscribed on the Wall before it came down, like a sign pointing the way towards a better future. What a powerful message! And yet that is not the picture that pursues and haunts me, it is the simple gesture of a woman.

She was content to splash paint on the Wall. Just to spray black and red from her brush. She was not painting. She let loose the paint like you let out a shout, like you throw a stone, like you slap someone. The way you overcome a taboo, or find deliverance from a fear. The way you crow over victory too.


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