Gedenkstätte Marienborn presents the DIE LINIE (THE LINE) in a screening event with artist talk on 19 August 2020.

The Memorial of the German division Marienborn is a place of remembrance of contemporary German and European history. It is located on the grounds of the GDR border crossing point (GÜSt) Marienborn on the Berlin-Hanover motorway, one of the westernmost points on the former system boundary between the communist area and the democratic states of the West.

The GÜSt Marienborn was an integral part of the almost completely monitored border security system in the GDR. As a dividing wall and a bottleneck between east and west, it marked a seam in the “Iron Curtain”, at which the division of Germany, Europe and the world into two opposing camps became apparent.


Clemens Wilhelm & Joakim Blattmann

Clemens Wilhelm walks along the entire former German-German border. He follows the former death strip, today’s nature reserve “The Green Belt“, with his camera. The 1.400 km route takes him from the Czech border to the Baltic Sea in two months.

After every 15 minutes of walking, Clemens Wilhelm stops to take a picture: the West on the left, the East on the right, in the middle of the picture the former border patrol road. He continues across the whole country in this way, stopping every 15 minutes to document the absent border.

In 975 images and 67 minutes, the viewer of this immersive and hypnotic film travels all over Germany, along the whole former border line.

A soundtrack by Joakim Blattmann that consists of a musical composition of processed original sound recordings from the border accompanies the images.

The German-German border is a fascinating non-place. Hardly anyone knows it from their own experience or has traveled along it, but almost all Germans have crossed it at least once. It still exists in the collective memory and in the collective imagination of all Germans.

The German Reunification is an unfinished process even after nearly 30 years. Also globally, walls as a political tool are not a relic of the past and the Cold War but continue to be present in the political realm: the EU is fencing itself in, Britain is closing itself off, and the US president plans to build a wall to Mexico, etc.

The production of DIE LINIE was supported by a Stiftung Kunstfonds One-Year Working Grant.

DIE LINIE | Clemens Wilhelm & Joakim Blattmann | Trailer