Florian Göttke research focused on Berlin’s monuments and in particular those found in the Friedrichsfelde Zoo ape enclosure. Florian aspired to research the theory that these monuments were remnants of the Berliner Stadtschloss.
This was an extremely relevant and timely topic that coincided with the controversy surrounding the reconstruction of the Stadtschloss on the site of the Palast der Republic. This topic evoked discussions around symbolism and history. Specifically, how Berlin destroys their GDR history, but wishes to restore the perceived historical significance of the out-dated 18th century Stadtschloss.
Florian resolved to uncover how the Stadtschloss remains came to reside in the Friedrichsfelde Zoo, as well as explore other Berlin monuments in museums, archives and around the city.
The first presentation was hold in ABA apartment a rather informal affair. Florian presented a number of his recent works and introduced his research objectives and initial findings to guests. The main focus was Florian’s recently released book “Toppled” that documented the fallen statues of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent reactions from the media. Parallels were drawn with the media response to the Osama Bin Laden case (which had taken place only two weeks earlier), evoking a fascinating discussion about monuments and power.
For his first salon, Florian produced a small bulletin of articles relating to his research. He also published a newspaper titled “Eagles and Lions”, consisting of a collection of articles and essays written by Florian, which was released at the second salon.