The new installation “Deutsche Marken” by the Nonument Group addresses the collective memory as well as collective oblivion of the economic transition of the former DDR in 1989-1994. The economic carriers of identity – the products, factory emblems and industrial labels were transformed into an asset for privatisation and optimisation. In parallel, a similar unequal exchange was debated around the monetary union between the East and the West. The installation introduces the main carrier of this transition – the 1990 German Mark – that gets manipulated with the images of the production facilities transformed, developed as well as liquidated by the transitional Treuhand fund. In this synthesis, the mostly hidden and behind-the-scenes privatisation process spearheaded by the Treuhand fund is given a tangible and polemical form that brings back to life the names and facades of the liquidated factories.

The magic tricks with the coins in the background – isn’t the fiat monetary system based purely on trust? – is the stimulus for gathering the individual views, memories and statements of this rarely addressed collective process of an often traumatic transition.

In the process of research we have discovered there is no available or accessible archive about the Treuhand, therefore we have decided to create The Open Treuhand Archive that will be available online. Please share your memories below.

Was war die „Treuhandanstalt“ für Sie? What was the „Treuhandanstalt“ for you?