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Sofia Bempeza

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Temporary Language Memorial
Karl-Marx-Allee, Berlin
The case study of the Karl-Marx-Allee area, which is a protected monument for its historical and architectural identity, deals with the evolution of post-socialist architecture in former east European cities. Therefore I am interested in the socio-political transition in this specific modern socialist ensemble. By working on the manifestations of power and unity in monumental socialistic architecture and by reflecting post-modern trends and impacts of internationalization and globalization, my aim was to discover socio-mental shifts. Within this framework of creating “place” out of “urban space”, I planed a temporary language memorial. My approach focused on how we perceive, define or maybe associate ourselves with an urban space within a post-socialist context.By developing this concept a new plastic (language)-form arose. This approach should be linked to that specific space, and its historical as well as socio-political connotations, concerned with an ambiguous identity referring to the post-socialist era.

Therefore speaking about a language memorial I point out the symbolic use of language in the GDR, whose function was essential for the socialistic regime. According to the Marxist concept, language is the base as well as the superstructure of society. It is understood as a productive force. In communistic theory it is the commodity (die Ware), which has to become an ideological statement; the language itself is the medium that can induce those statements in the public sphere. On a historical level propaganda speeches or posters were obviously instruments for the State and the authorities in order to control the citizens. However the exact meaning of propaganda is constantly debated. By reflecting on these aspects of the communist Language apparatus, my intension was to change the arrangement and revaluation of notions. At the same time this memorial is not only a form of dedication to the Failure of the former language but also an attempt to rethink on the significance of the collapse of a collective language.

Quote from the text on the monument.

LOGIK (...) das Aktuellste, Dringlichste und POLITISCH Wesentlichste im Kampf gegen den Anarchismus, nämlich das Verhältnis der Revolution zum STAAT wie überhaupt die Frage des Staates, VÖLLIG zu umgehen! WARE
Soll man die alte Staatsmaschinerie ZERSCHLAGEN? (...) DASS alle die Funktionen der KONTROLLE und Aufsicht verrichten (...)
(...) und WODURCH ist sie zu ersetzen? AUSSAGE (...) Hier wird wohl vom politischen MASSENSTREIK gesprochen (...) Das allein bedeutet SCHON einen Sieg des Opportunismus. (...) MATERIE (...) die NACH seinen eigenen Worten der Erörterung der FRAGE gerade der "POLITISCHEN Revolution" gewidmet ist (...)
ÜBERBAU (...) Vor uns liegt ein weites TÄTIGKEITSFELD zur Entwicklung der Weltrevolution. (...) Ersetzung der bürgerlichen DEMOKRATIE durch DIE proletarische Demokratie (...) DIE "revolutionäre Ära HEBT an" (...)

Sofia Bempeza 2010

Sofia Bempeza

1979 born in Athens, Greece

Lives and works in Berlin, Germany


2006-2008 University of Arts Berlin, Master of Arts in Context
1998-2004 Athens School of Fine Arts


2010 Award, Careum Stiftung Switzerland
2006-2008 Scholarship for artists by Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation
2002 Sokrates Erasmus Scholarship at the Fine Arts School in Munich - ADBK

Solo Exhibitions

Private measures - Public meters. D624 project space, Athens (2005)

Group Exhibitions

Pecha Kucha #4, Geneva (2011) / Rooms 2010, Kappatos Gallery, Athens (2010) / FettesARCHIV: Das Glück ist dick!, Arttransponder, Berlin (2009)/ Art’s pulse II, A. S. Onassis Foundation, Athens (2008) / Spannungsfelder, Arttransponder, Berlin(2008) / Art’s pulse II, A. S. Onassis Foundation, Athens (2008) / Extended stay, GAF Istanbul (2007) / Rooms to let, Action field Kodra. Thessaloniki (2007) / VideoVaka, GalleriBOX, Akureyri - Island (2007) / Fata morgana, New Benaki Museum - Peiraios, Athens (2006) / Knips die Wand an! Berliner Fotoalbum, Berlin (2006) / Private measures - Public meters, D624 project space, Athens (2005) / Strictly appropriate ‘Αυστηρώς κατάλληλον’ , Byzantine Museum, Athens (2004) / Proti Katoikia (First Residence), Housing estate for refugees, Alexandras Avenue Athens (2003).


U10 von hier aus ins Imaginäre und wieder zurück
Kunst im Untergrund, NGBK Berlin and

Research Cluster: Preventive Self.
Interdisciplinary Investigation of an Emergent Life Form
Associated Departments: Humboldt-University Berlin/ Department of European Ethnology, Social Science Research Center Berlin, Charité Berlin - Institut für Allgemeinmedizin, University Hamburg FSP BIOGUM / FG Medizin, University of Arts Berlin /

feels like home! Intervention in 9 public squares in Berlin and Istanbul


FettesArchiv, Das Glück ist dick!, (Hg.) Wolfgang Knapp, Sofia Bempeza, Anja Sommer, Steffen Krüger, Can Sungu, Berlin 2009.
Aus dem Kontext, (Hg.) Universität der Künste Berlin, Berlin 2008.
Image-Space-Action 2, Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece, Athens (Ed.), 2008.
Art’s pulse II, Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (Ed.),
Athens 2008.
Action field Kodra 07 - 7th visual Arts Festival, Cultural Organisation Municipality of Kalamaria (Ed.), Thessaloniki 2008.
fata morgana, The National Book Centre of Greece (Ed.), Athens 2006.
Strictly appropriate/ Afstiros katallilon, The National Book Centre of Greece (Ed.), Athens 2004.
Homage to national poet Kostis Palamas, The National Book Centre of Greece (Ed.), Athens 2004.
Landscapes of writing, The National Book Centre of Greece (Ed.), Athens 2001.



Sofia Bempeza

10178 Berlin


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