First Leipzig Autumn Salon

Original title: (1. Leipziger Herbstsalon)
GDR/Germany, 1984, 22 min, b&w
In German; English subtitles

In fall 1984, six young Leipzig artists—Lutz Dammbeck, Hans-Hendrik Grimmling, Günter Firit, Frieder Heinze, Günther Huniat—secretly organized the sensational exhibition they called 1. Leipziger Herbstsalon (First Leipzig Autumn Salon) as a protest against official art exhibitions and failed reforms in the East German art system. The private exhibition lasted almost a month and challenged the authority of cultural officials. This short film shows original footage, shot by cinematographer Thomas Plenert, of the artists setting up the exhibition the day before its opening. The name of the exhibit was an ironic play on Herwarth Walden’s famous 1913 exhibition, Erster Deutsche Herbstsalon (First German Autumn Salon) in Berlin.

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