The Distance Narrows


Sophie-Therese Trenka-Dalton & Hannes Schmidt


Radisson Habiba Hall

Project Summary

Built in the early 1970s, the former Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in East Germany has been in a state of abandonment and disrepair since German reunification in 1990. In the summer of 2010, artists Sophie-Therese Trenka-Dalton and Hannes Schmidt researched the contents of the building for three months to help compile a publication of collages, images and texts that report and reflect on their findings. Titled The Distance Narrows, their wish is to create a book that captures their direct and intense experience of the site. They used the occasion of March Meeting 2011 to present their layout proposals and invite ideas.

Presentation Proposal

The Distance Narrows is a publication project focused on the former Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in East Germany by Berlin artists Hannes Schmidt and Sophie-Therese Trenka-Dalton. The publication is based on images and printed material that the artists found in the now abandoned embassy in Berlin-Pankow. The appropriated material is combined with photographs of found objects and text pieces that examine the former embassy and its implications from various perspectives. The central point of interest for the project is the discrepancy between the physical experience of the abandoned, destroyed embassy and the almost mythical presence of the GDR and Iraq on the site. In the publication the artists rearrange the found traces along their personal process of discovery and create a subjective portrait of a place for which the purpose of existence has been lost. Currently in the process of finalising the layout and texts, the release of the publication is planned for 2011. The publisher and production budget still need to be determined.”


Sophie-Therese Trenka-Dalton (b. 1979, Berlin) studied at the University of the Arts, Berlin, from 2001-2007, and at Cooper Union, New York, in 2004. From 2007-2010 she received grant awards from DAAD, NaFöG and the Roberto Cimetta Fund. Solo exhibitions include The Distance Narrows, with Hannes Schmidt, Basso, Berlin (2010), North Palace, Room 10a, TÄT, Berlin (2009), City of Commerce, Nice & Fit Gallery, Berlin (2008). Group exhibitions include Transient Spaces: The Tourist Syndrome, NGBK, Berlin (2010), basso tophane, DEPO, Istanbul (2010) and Ins Blickfeld Gerückt, Institut Francaise, Berlin (2010).

November 2011


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