ChertLüdde Books & MIT Press are glad to invite you to a Book Launch of:

Paper Revolutions: An Invisible Avant-Garde
by Sarah E. James 


Parallel Public
Experimental Art in Late East Germany
by Sara Blaylock 

On Friday, June 24. 2022
From 5.00 pm onwards

At ChertLüdde Books
Hauptstrasse 18
10827 Berlin

The two authors will engage in a discussion moderated by Kathleen Reinhardt about East German art, activism, performance, ephemera and utopian politics.

About Paper Revolutions:

“This fascinating study exposes a lifeworld of intimate and sustaining vanguard artistic exchanges that thrived in unofficial corners of the East German regime. Sidestepping tired Cold War narratives of East German art, Sarah James’s poignant account also situates these objects and exchanges within a legacy of Marxist utopianism that surfaced in the German Weimar Republic and continues to resurface in imaginings of a better world today.” 

Barbara McCloskey, Professor of Art History, University of Pittsburgh

Paper Revolutions brings us a much-needed scholarly account of fiercely original but little known ‘avant-garde’ art made under socialism, including work by Hermann Glöckner and Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt.”

Christine Mehring Mary L. Block, Professor of Art History and the College, University of Chicago; Faculty Adjunct Curator, David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art; 

About Parallel Public:

“Sara Blaylock’s pioneering book moves beyond the idea that art in the GDR was monolithic, isolated, or secretive. Instead of merely reacting to state power, the performance-based artworks presented in this highly readable study suggest forms of being and working together that echo the ethical and political commitments that once, long ago, accompanied the GDR’s foundation.” 

Sven Spieker, Professor of Germanic and Slavic Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

“The first comprehensive English analysis and reevaluation of late East Germany’s experimental art, drawing on oral histories, official and private discourse, and surveillance records.” 

Angelika Richter, Director, Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin

About the Authors:
Dr. Sarah E. James, is the Senior Curator of Exhibitions at Tate Liverpool where she is currently curating The Turner Prize. Along with Sara Blaylock she co-curated the exhibition ‘Anti-Social Art: Experimental Practices in Late East Germany’ recently on show at the Tweed Museum of Art, Minnesota..  Author of Common Ground: German Photographic Cultures Beyond the Iron Curtain (Yale University Press, 2013). Sarah’s research has focused on the visual culture of the German Democratic Republic; the expanded field of German photography during the Cold War;  the legacies of the avant-garde; militant and Leftist artistic practice; photojournalism; photo books, magazines and ephemera, and documentary practices. She has published numerous chapters, essays and academic articles on these subjects.  She is currently  a Gerda Henkel Professorial Fellow working on the major research project ‘The Militant & The Mainstream’  and was previously a Paul Mellon Fellow based in Frankfurt am Main. Before that, she was Associate Professor in History of Art at University College London (2010-2019) and Lecturer at the University of Oxford She writes regularly as an art critic for art magazines including Art Monthly, Frieze and Photoworks.

Dr. Sara Blaylock is currently Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Minnesota Duluth. In addition to serving as the Midwest Exhibitions Field Editor for, she also directs the International Association for Visual Culture. To date, the bulk of Sara’s research has concerned the experimental art, film, and visual culture of the GDR during the 1980s. Broader interests include official cultural policy in state socialism, documentary film from the GDR, as well as the intersections of visuality, gender and class. Sara’s research has appeared in a number of academic and arts forums, both in English and in translation, including in The Oxford Handbook of Communist Visual Cultures and Cinema Journal. Her article “Being the Woman They Wanted Her to Be: Cornelia Schleime Performs her Stasi File,” which appeared in Third Text in March 2021, received the Historians of German, Scandinavian and Central European Art 2021 “Emerging Scholars Publication Prize.” Parallel Public: Experimental Art in Late East Germany is Sara’s first book. Its publication coincided with the exhibition, ‘Anti-Social Art: Experimental Practices in Late East Germany’ co-curated with Sarah James at the Tweed Museum of Art, Minnesota.

Dr. Kathleen Reinhardt is an art and cultural historian and writer, and currently the curator for contemporary art at the Albertinum (Dresden State Art Collections). Her recent exhibitions for the museum included “Marlene Dumas. Skulls”, “Slavs and Tatars. Made in Dschermany”, “For Ruth, the Sky in Los Angeles. Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and David Horvitz”, “Demonstrationrooms: Judy Radul, Céline Condorelli, Kapwani Kiwanga and Heimo Zobernig” (co-curated with Isabelle Busch), “Hassan Khan. I saw the world collapse and it was only a word” and the group exhibition “1 Million Roses for Angela Davis”, all of which were accompanied by artist-centered publications. Together with Mathias Wagner, she is heading the multi-part exhibition and research initiative “Revolutionary Romances. Transcultural Art Histories in the GDR“ with a large-scale final presentation scheduled for 2023. She has contributed essays to artists’ books and catalogs as well as magazines such as Art Margins, African Arts, mesozfera, Contemporary And, Kaleidoscope and The Journal of Urban History among others. She obtained her PhD in the field of Black Studies and African American art history, has been teaching at Freie Universität Berlin, Technical University Dresden and the Art Academy Braunschweig, and has given lectures and workshops at art institutions and art academies worldwide.