Plattenbau is a mass structural construct, but also a signifier made use of by totally different social systems.
Studying the political history, the construction engineering history, and the sociopolitical coding of this architecture were fundamental and led to an intensive preoccupation with Plattenbau of the former GDR since 1992/93. This massive architecture of prefabricated concrete slabs characterizes not only the Eastern part of Berlin, but all former socialist countries of Eastern Europe. Directly after the fall of the Wall, the so-called Platte (slab) was regarded as a controversial and unloved architectonic legacy. What interested the artist was the superposition of utopian visions of society and the political repression that seems to be written into this modular concrete architecture.
The beauty of the serial along with the chilling monotony of the Plattenbau housing estates fascinated the artist. Plattenbau is a complex cultural phenomenon that demands serious critical study and accurate analysis. Annett Zinsmeister began with the documentation of Plattenbau types and their redesign. From 2000, she started to transform her documentary photographs of a vanishing architecture, into modular picture elements, and arranged these into new façade images and virtual environments. At first glance, these sculptures appear to be authentic photographs but on taking another look, irritating details emerge. These works oscillate between document and artifact.
In Outside-in, Plattenbau facades oscillate between an attractive aesthetic of the minimal and a chilling monotony of the serial. In this work, Annett Zinsmeister tries to make the anachronistic influence of the Platte on the public space visible. This work is inspired by the history of the panorama. From 2000, Annett Zinsmeister began developing a series of wallpapers of prefabricated facades and to design concepts for invaginating exterior spaces into interior spaces. In her installations, she has real spaces lined with virtual facades and has conceived virtual spaces from them.