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Berlin Art Prize 2019 | Larissa Fassler

Press release


Berlin Art Prize 2019 | Larissa Fassler – Forms of Brutality

For over fifteen years, Larissa Fassler (b. 1975, Vancouver, Canada) has undertaken observational research into shifting urban geographies. 
The conceptual paintings and installation at SMAC by Larissa Fassler draw on a current hotspot of gentrification in Berlin: Moritzplatz. The area carries an exceptional history marked by trauma.

Using a psychogeographical approach combined with archive and internet-based research, for the Moritzplatz series, the artist examined pre-war maps and imagery. These include Allied bombings, significant synagogues, and Jewish department stores. A second, post-war layer reveals checkpoints, guard towers, the “death strip,” and “ideologically loaded signs” from both East and West German regimes. Unrealized development projects, corporations that have purchased tracts of land for high-end offices, the current boom of gentrifying vacation rentals form a third layer, representative of the existing reality.

By unraveling place and history, the artist creates works in which each brushstroke or line carries emotional weight. It is the story of her observations, as well as the assumptions, preconceptions, and problematic histories that current projects and developments continue to build upon.


Berlin Art Prize 2019
Nine solo exhibitions by nine nominees in nine project spaces.