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HDA "test the rest" (oral)

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Par   •  13 Août 2019  •  Commentaire d'oeuvre  •  992 Mots (4 Pages)  •  45 Vues

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Good morning/afternoon everyone. I am … from level 10 and today I’m going to talk about the painting “Test the rest”.

In my presentation, I will try to answer to the following question:

How can art make act of memory?

I’ve divided my presentation into four parts. First of all, I will introduce you the painting, its main features, the author, the context and the theme, next I’m going to describe and interpret the painting, then we come to the connection and after that I will conclude.


First of all, Test the Rest is a photorealist mural sometimes associated with street art which was painted by Birgit Kinder in 1990. It is 5 meters by 2.5 meters and it was made with paintbrush and spray-paint on the concrete wall of the East Side Gallery, an open-air gallery in Berlin which gained memorial status in 1991. 

Birgit Kinder is a German artist who was born in 1962 in the ex GDR (German Democratic Republic). In 1982, she settled in Berlin to work in the German railway and to take art class. Later, when she heard about the wall fall, Birgit Kinder said:” It is the fresh start time for me. All the pages are blank, it’s my job to fill them.” Then she began her artistic career as a muralist and did her first painting, in other words “Test the rest”, on July in 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

This wall separated East Berlin and West Berlin and was built during the Cold War opposing the USA to the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (13th August 1961 – 09th November 1989). It was built in order to prevent people from fleeing East Berlin. In many ways it was the perfect symbol of the "Iron Curtain" that separated the democratic western countries and the communist countries of Eastern Europe throughout the Cold War.

In her painting, Birgit Kinder chose to depict the fall of the Berlin wall including the iconic East German car, The Trabant, bursting out of the wall.


On the picture, we can see in the top left corner, the title “Test the rest” written but at the beginning this painting was called “Test the best” inspired by a brand of cigarettes slogan named “Test the West”. Finally, in 2009, at the time of the renovation, Birgit Kinder called her art-work “Test the Rest”. Therefore, the artist is no longer insisting on the fracture between the West Germany and East Germany because 20 years have passed since the fall of the wall. (rest: le reste/autre chose, se reposer/faire une pause, la tranquilité) (Testez le repos comme pour symboliser un épisode terminé de l’histoire).

The viewer’s eye goes to the light-colored Trabant escaping from the dictatorship of the GDR, represented here by the deep navy shade, around the car. The latter is breaking through the wall of Berlin.

Inside the car, at the wheel, we see a silhouette symbolizing the East German nation who is going into the light-blue background maybe the mark of the light that is the west, a sign of freedom.

There is also the date of the Berlin wall fall written on the number plate. Actually, we see “nov-09-89” meaning the 9th November in 1989.


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