The mural “Path of the Red Flag” at the Dresden Kulturpalast, The Palace of Culture, stands for a failed concept of society. In 2019, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Kulturpalast, we wanted to know what our visitors think about it.
The resulting material is available for view in our exhibition. The 30-metre-long mural was one of the most important large-scale commissions of art on buildings in the GDR and is today one of the most important examples of socialist monumental art.
The mural represents the GDR through the context of a historical image based on the methodology of Historical Materialism. It is an expression of socialist optimism about the future. In 1989 however, unfulfilled socio-political utopias fuelled opposition against the system. The discussion about the mural, which began soon after the Peaceful Revolution, concentrated above all on the object's cult and symbolic value and the ideology embedded within it.
It is therefore hardly surprising, that after the dismantling of the Lenin monument at Dresden’s Main Station, the “Red Flag” became the most controversial visual art object in Dresden's urban space. On the other hand, this is precisely why “Path of the Red Flag” stimulates debates about Dresden's cultural memory.
In this context, it is about local identities and experienced history- the arrival of the past into the present with a view to the future.
If you would like to give your opinion, please use the corresponding questionnaire in our exhibition or on our website www.denk-maldresden.de. As a thank you, you will receive a free ticket for the Bautzner Strasse Dresden Memorial, which will be issued at the end of the questionnaire.
An accompanying booklet can be viewed in the exhibition or on the website and is also available at the Memorial.