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In the midst of the Cold War, legendary African American jazz musician Louis Armstrong was the first US artist to tour through the GDR. Taking this historic event in 1965 as a starting point, DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam examines the ambivalence of this official invitation against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, the Vietnam War, and the Iron Curtain in Europe. While Armstrong avoided expressing forthright political opinions during his tour, he played (What Did I Do To Be So) Black and Blue, a composition he had not played in a decade, at every performance. Paintings, photographs, archival material, and installations by Terry Adkins, Louis Armstrong, Pina Bausch, Romare Bearden, Peter Brötzmann, Darol Olu Kae, Volkhard Kühl, Norman Lewis, Glenn Ligon, Jason Moran, Gordon Parks, Dan Perjovschi, Adrian Piper, Evelyn Richter, Lorna Simpson, Willi Sitte, Wadada Leo Smith, Rosemarie Trockel, Andy Warhol, Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, and others provide multiple perspectives on the complexity of politics, jazz music, and racism.

In 1965, LOUIS ARMSTRONG (1901–1971) performed in East Berlin, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Erfurt, and Schwerin. With 17 concerts in just nine days,the tour was tightly scheduled. Some 45,000 people experienced Louis Armstrong and his All Stars live in the GDR.

EXHIBITION DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam, September 16, 2023 – February 4, 2024

Museum issue - sold on behalf and for the account of Museen der Hasso Plattner Foundation gGmbH, Museum Barberini, Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 115, 14467 Potsdam, VAT ID DE280321691

  • Published by: Paola Malavassi Texts by: Peter Brötzmann, Jewel Brown, Tina M. Campt, Paola Malavassi, Jason Moran, Oliver Zybok
  • I've Seen the Wall, Louis Armstrong auf Tour in der DDR 1965
  • Hatje Cantz Verlag, November 2023
  • 9783775755993
  • 1216121537
  • 208 pages, 100 ills. Paperback 28,6 cm x 22,8 cm, German, English