Rotraut Pape


For the closing edition of Urban Knights 2019, in memory of the 30th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall and our friend, mentor and collaborator Rotraut Pape (1956-2019), we will be screening Pape’s work, The Wall – The Vertical Horizon  and discussing the work, with her collaborator, Ninon Liotet, writer Fiona Shipwright, film programmer and curator Vanina Saracino. The event will be co-hosted with Screen City Biennial, Director, Daniela Arriado.

The Wall – The Vertical Horizon

Walking through time with a camera. From Köpenicker Straße in Berlin-Kreuzberg to behind the Reichstag: November 1989, February 1990, August 1990, November 1990. Only one week after the Berlin Wall was opened, its disappearance was foreseeable. So on November 17, 1989, I walked along it with a camera. The route begins in Köpenicker Strasse in Kreuzberg and follows the wall which was covered by murals all the way to its upper edge. The wall lined various streets right next to their sidewalks. All crossroads had become dead ends back in 1961. A few months later, I walked along this road a second time, my camera eye firmly kept on the wall and on what it concealed. Then again in summer and a fourth time in November 1990, exactly one year later. With its four eyes, the camera follows the wall and its traces through time, documenting the wall’s disappearance and the hopefully positive horizons that emerge on both sides.

Extract taken from:—The-Vertical-Horizon.html [Last accessed 18th Nov 2019]

Project website: The Wall – The Vertical Horizon


Rotraut Pape (1956 -2019) was a filmmaker, artist and Professor for Film/Video at the University of Art and Design, HfG Offenbach. She studied Fine Art at HFBK (University of Fine Arts in Hamburg) with a focus on film, video and computer generated works. Becoming a master in camera, software and editing techniques and tools, her main interest was in the artistic potential of moving image, to raise critical social, political and ethical questions. Performance and installation played an important role in her work, as did theatrical representation and interactive experimentation.

Parallel to Pape’s artistic work, she realized numerous experimental documentaries for television (Arte/3Sat/ZDF), focusing on the subversive role of subcultures within a larger cultural landscape. Her work toured internationally and she held several workshops, lectures and teaching post at numerous institutions. A founding member of the Hessian Film and Media Academy (hFMA) and co-founder and curator of the B3 Biennial of the Moving Image Frankfurt and Kassel Dokfest, alongside her own work, Paper contributed significantly to several artist collectives such as Raskin, Frigo, Infermental.

Image credit: Rotraut Pape, Transmediale 2017

Date of publication

Wed 20 Nov 2019