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Wende Museum Gives Visitors a Taste of Vintage Eastern Europe With ‘Living Room’ and ‘See Thy Neighbor’ Exhibitions

Virtual exhibitions on show in Culver City

By Toi Creel

While some art is grand and extravagant, other pieces are simply meant to show the beauty that exists within everyday life-no matter what decade. Two new exhibitions at Culver City’s Wende Museum follow this mindset adequately titled ‘Living Room” and “See Thy Neighbor”.

The “Living Room” exhibit features pieces that one might find in a typical living space like furniture and dishes. The exhibit also has multimedia elements including videos complete with scripted narrations. While seemingly looking like your typical household items, similar to something one might find in a flea market, the living room setting has a deeper meaning. The items were collected during the revolutions that took down the Berlin Wall, effectively ending socialism in Eastern Europe. With access to higher quality goods, many people abandoned household items. However, soon wanting the nostalgia of old items, the prices and prestige of flea markets increased as people began to incorporate items from the past in day-to-day living .

“See Thy Neighbor” is a mixture of pictures from two photographers who work at Stern Magazine. In their displays, both Thomas Hoepker and Harald Schmitt photographed East Germany grocery stores and military parades from varying perspectives. Hoepker covered Germany in 1975 and 1976, failing to find thrill in the country recovering from war. Schmitt’s photographs, taken from 1977 onward, show a cheerier side as he ended up marring and staying in the country for several years.

As of now, you can book a virtual reservation for the exhibits. On May 1st in-person visitation begins. To book a reservation visit info@wendemuseum.org.

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