Online-Tagung: “Emptiness: Ways of Seeing”

Vom 28 September – 1 Oktober 2021 findet an der University of Oxford die Tagung „Emptiness“ statt. Es geht um die post-sowjetische Peripherie, um Mythen, Ökologie, Ideologie, Ruinen und Verfall und darum, wie „Leere“ in post-sowjetischen Kontexten erfahren wird. Das Programm ist unter diesem Link zu finden (

Marina Gerber hält einen Vortrag mit dem Titel „Empty Actions on the Ruins of Ideology: Collective Actions’ Kite Launch in Prora, Germany“ (30.9.2021, 11:00/12:00 Uhr)


In this paper I would like to talk about one work by the Muscovite artistic group Collective Actions that was realized on the German island of Rügen in 1994 on the ruins of the monumental Nazi-built holiday resort. Planned personally by Hitler, as the myth goes, nearly completed with Polish forced labour during the Second World War, occupied subsequently by the Soviet Army, taken over by the German Bundeswehr in 1991 and now being converted into fancy holiday homes, there are few places that are more ideologically charged. Two members of Collective Actions, Andrej Monastyrski and Sabine Hänsgen, travelled there shortly after the territory of the two-kilometres-long complex on the coast of the Baltic Sea seized to be a restricted area (military zone) in 1993. The action that took place here was titled “Kite Launch in Prora” (1994). In this paper I will analyse this peculiar artistic action by contextualizing it within Collective Actions’ practice of emptying (‘empty action’) which is pursued by the group since 1976 and by providing the historical and theoretical context for the ideological tensions that surround this exceptional place on Rügen until today. Formerly part of GDR, Rügen has a particular existence in between Eastern and Western Europe, which makes it particularly relevant for thinking about the ruins of Socialism more broadly. I will use materials that were provided by the Prora Documentation Centre in Rügen, Collective Actions’ own documentation and approaches to this issue from the architectural theory.

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