November 9, 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. And although there is no longer a physical border between East and West, there is still a strong sense of Berlin’s turbulent past all over the city. LA-based artist Diane Meyer visited the former, 104-mile (160 km) path where the wall once stood. The site inspired her to create a reflective series, simply titled Berlin. For the project, the artist embroidered directly onto 43 of her own photographs with pixel-like cross-stitches that obscure areas previously blocked off by the divide.
Meyer has been working on her Berlin series for the past 7 years, meticulously hand-stitching on top of images that were taken in the city center, as well as the outskirts of the city, throughout suburbs and forests. The artist was particularly interested in photographing locations where there are no visible traces of the wall remaining, but where there are still subtle clues of where it once was.
By merging digital and analog mediums, Meyer emphasizes the unnatural boundaries of the wall itself. From The Brandenburg Gate to Checkpoint Charlie, the embroidered sections of each photo represent the exact scale and location of the former wall. The tactile, stitched areas offer a pixelated view of what’s behind the now-invisible border. “The embroidery appears as a translucent trace in the landscape of something that no longer exists but is a weight on history and memory,” Meyer explains. “I am interested in the porous nature of memory as well the means by which photography transforms history into nostalgic objects that obscure objective understandings of the past.”
Meyer’s poignant Berlin series is currently on view at Klompching Gallery in New York until January 10, 2019. Scroll down to see some of the images from the collection and check out more of Meyer’s work on her website.