Bernhard Sinkel’s 1975 film "Lina Braake oder Die Interessen der Bank können nicht die Interessen sein, die Lina Braake hat" (Lina Braake or The Interests of the Bank Cannot be the Interests that Lina Braake Has) tells the story of an older woman who is evicted from her apartment and forced to move into a nursing home. She successfully (albeit illegally) tricks her bank into allowing her to withdraw 20,000 Deutschmark with the help of a fellow nursing home resident. The elderly woman “invests” the money in a house in Sardinia, thus reclaiming her right to self-determined housing. In a sense, she has manufactured her own money, as the bank has to produce new funds in order to afford her the credit.
The title character functions as the patron saint of the fictitious Lina Braake Bank. A branch of the bank has been opened in a shipping container on Karl-Marx-Allee to host lectures and discussions about the financialisation of housing and the social effects of the monetary economy. Two new signs have been installed atop the buildings at Karl-Marx-Allee 5-11 as part of the installation. They connect the shipping container to the architectural and design history of the street’s second section. This roof space was once used to advertise for the car manufacturer Tatra or for the Maxim Gorki Theatre.
Evictions conducted in the interests of the finance economy are also a contemporary problem on Karl-Marx-Allee. More and more people are struggling to find apartments and pay rent. Because money circulates as credit and more and more money needs to be invested as it is emitted, apartment and rental costs are on the rise. The relationship between credit and money has been described in detail by the social anthropologist David Graeber, co-founder of the Occupy Wallstreet movement. Money consists of promises that circulate socially and could be organised in a completely different way than they are today. The Lina Braake Bank takes up this idea and proposes: “Wir machen unser Geld jetzt selbst!” (We now produce our money ourselves!), as shown on the sign above the building. In order to test this theory, “Braakteates” will be available to print on a screen printing press on certain days. A video work in the format of a promotional film for the branch advertising a different understanding of money will be screened regularly for the duration of the show. The film collage creates a dialogue between scenes from “Lina Braake” and clips from an interview with David Graeber.