Exterra XX

Exterra XX © Privatarchiv
* 1984 / East German group of women artists

The women’s art group Exterra XX germinated in Erfurt in 1984. With enthusiasm, creativity and brainstorming, Exterra XX became the first art group in the GDR to transcend the underground and reach a broader public. The intention of Exterra XX was the advancement of female artistic expression and the exploration of female archetypes – articulated in independent art projects encompassing Super-8 films, fashion-object shows and, later, performances.

Despite penalties and resistance from the state, the group asserted their unconventional zest for life in shows involving costumes, poetry, fashion, painting and music. From the isolation and loneliness of artistic expression conducted without compromise or fear of one’s self or the external circumstances of a repressive dictatorship, a unique phenomenon arose which, under the conditions of everyday life in the GDR and with unbridled and unconditional creativity, fuelled the self-empowerment of the female artists involved. 

Exterra XX © Privatarchiv

Exterra XX subsequently took form as a performance group in 1989, conducting an intensive period of performances that lasted until 1994. The interest of international museums and art organizations in the work and performances of the women’s art group remains unabated to this very day.

Exterra XX © Privatarchiv

The core members of Exterra XX were: Monika Andres, Gabriele Göbel, Ina Heiner, Angelika Hummel, Birgit Quehl, Claudia Bogenhardt, Tely Büchner, Monique Förster, Harriet Wollert, Gabriele Stötzer and Verena Kyselka.