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Ansicht Wachturm
*  Last Inspection

The project Last Inspection (Letzte Überprüfung) at Grenzwachturm Schlesischer Busch is finished. From 2005 to 2009 the former watchtower of th Berlin Wall was the starting point for artistic examination with borders in the form of site-specific, interventional, and situational presentations of international artists. The project was enjoying an increasing popularity among the Berlin people as well as the tourists. Within the context of memorials and other places reminding of the Berlin Wall and the time of division, the project frames an outstanding and individual position, particularly by its approach of applying artistic interventions to the linking of the past with the present. Researches about the history of the watchtower and the border section Schlesischer Busch are accompanying the programme.
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History of the Führungsstelle Schlesischer Busch

Am 9. November 1989 fiel die Berliner Mauer und die Grenzen der DDR öffneten sich. Ein Jahr später war die Existenz der DDR beendet. Aber bis heute ist die Berliner Mauer ein Symbol, einerseits für den Kalten Krieg, der nicht nur Deutschland, sondern die ganze Welt in zwei Hälften spaltete und andererseits für den Zwang, den die SED (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschland) auf ihre Bürger ausübte. Die Geschichte der Berliner Mauer begann in der Nacht vom 12. zum 13. August 1961. An der Grenze zwischen dem von der Sowjetunion und dem von den West-Alliierten kontrollierten Teil Berlins errichteten Volkspolizisten und Soldaten der Nationalen Volksarmee (NVA) eine provisorische Mauer aus Stacheldraht und Betonklötzen (read on/pdf).








LÜ 2009
Sven Johne: Tears of the Eyewitness

14.8. - 27.9.09

“Now let’s remember the night of 9 October 1989, the first major mass demonstration in East Germany since 1953. 70,000 people are on the inner ring road in Leipzig. Facing them are 8,000 policemen and soldiers. The protesters are intimidated because the local SED newspaper has threatened them with a so-called ‘Chinese solution’. But the demonstration in Leipzig is the powerful beginning of the end of the GDR. This demonstration was decisive for the downfall of the entire Eastern bloc.”

We are in the middle of a professional television production. A motivational speaker and an actor who is roughly 40 years old sit across from each other, trying to come up with “emotional filling” for a documentary about the fall of the Wall. This is the basic premise of Sven Johne’s video work shown in the former watchtower in Schlesischer Busch.

Sven Johne was born in Bergen on the island of Rügen in eastern Germany. He studied photography under Timm Rautert at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts until 2006. He has been living in Berlin since 2008. He relies on his own biography to explore one of
the themes in his work: the GDR and its dissolution.

The film Tears of the Eyewitness was made especially for the watchtower in Schlesischer Busch and is about the construction of memory. The goal of the motivational speaker is to create “real emotions” in the actor and make him cry. He tries to evoke the actor’s personal memories by taking him back to the dramatic events of 1989 in Germany, especially in Leipzig. He not only calls up images that are now part of the collective memory but also refers to situations which are less well-known. The result is an uneasy interplay between acted and real emotions that overcome the viewers as well, even 20 years after the event.

Simultaneously to the exhibition in the watchtower, Sven Johne is also participating with a film in the exhibition “Reconstructed Zone. Aktuelle Kunst zur DDR und danach” (Reconstructed Zone. Contemporary Art About and After the GDR) curated by Anne Kersten at the Kunstverein Wolfsburg.






The exhibition in the watchtower was curated by Christine Heidemann and Anne Kersten as part of the project Letzte Überprüfung by Svenja Moor. With the friendly support of Kulturamt Treptow-Köpenick. Thanks to Sammlung Kaufmann Berlin.

Sven Johne: Sven Johne: Tears of the Eyewitness, 2009 (Video, 23 min., Engl. mit dt. Untertiteln), Studioshot, © Sven Johne
Sven Johne: Sven Johne: Tears of the Eyewitness, 2009 (Video, 23 min., Engl. mit dt. Untertiteln), Studioshot, © Sven Johne








Sven Johne „Tears of the Eyewitness" (2009, Video, 23 minutes, Engl. with German subtitles)
Actors: Chris Woltmann and Marco Albrecht
Camera/Light: Steve George Kfoury
Sound: Marcel Timm
Dolly Operator: Hagen Eltzsch/Julia Stöckmann
Make-up: Gülten Özcan-Tomm
Editing: Sven Voss

Review of the exhibition on artnet.de








Kinga Araya: Ten Steps
5.6.–26.7.09

The exhibition entitled Ten Steps, by Polish born and Canadian educated artist Kinga Araya, currently residing in the United States, marks the twenty-year anniversary of her defecting Poland in Florence, Italy and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Araya walked the entire length of the Berlin Wall (160 km) with actual and virtual walkers for ten consecutive days. Starting in the South, above the Schoenefeld airport area on July 15, she proceeded counter-clockwise, finishing in the same place on July 24th, 2008.

The exhibition will feature a video documentation of Performing Exile: Walking the Wall performance, photographs and audio artworks that relate to Araya’s artistic preoccupation of crossing borders and dwelling in-between countries, cultures and languages. The video’s creative narration that guides the moving images of the walking

feet along the Wall paths, and frequent readings of the maps, communicates the importance of personal and historical narrative where diverse voices and languages walk and talk along the trail.

Araya walked and recorded the conversations primarily in English and German, but there are also sections of spoken Latvian, Polish, and Italian. Except the very act of walking, the video features the activities of dancing, stopping, resting, getting lost, following risky and unofficial paths, and finding the way out along the former Wall trail.

“My walk along the Berlin Wall was not a predictable performance artwork. It was filled with intense logos and pathos. It was about meditating on my slow transformation from an Eastern European subject, who wanted to assert herself as a freestanding and creative subject in the West. It was about falling down and getting up because of my political, linguistic, and cultural unfitness within Italian and Canadian laws
concerning immigration and citizenship. It

Kinga Araya: Former Refugee Camp, Rome, August 2008
Kinga Araya: Former Refugee Camp, Rome, August 2008

was about the un-measurable weight of living twenty years in the shadow of the iron curtain and twenty years in the West.” (from “Ten Steps”, video, 2009). – The performance project was made possible with the support of ICI Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin. Thanks to the Walkers, Paula Brooks Jawitz, and Rodney Woosley.

See Kinga Araya and curator Svenja Moor in interview with art-in-berlin.








Birgit Schlieps: Niagara Falls
1.5. – 31.5.09

Waterfalls are spectacular events that never fail to fascinate us. Their allure comes from the force of the incessant flow of water masses, the thundering noise and the fine misty spray that breaks up the sunlight into a luminous spectrum of color. Waterfalls are popular nostalgic motifs often found on postcards and in travel photography. They are also models for copies found in parks, gardens and public spaces. One example is the 24 meter high waterfall which was installed around the end of the 19th century in Victoriapark in the Kreuzberg borough of Berlin. This waterfall is an enlarged copy of the Wodospad Podgórnej waterfall in the Giant Mountain Range on the current border between the Czech Republic and Poland, only a day’s travel away from Berlin. In the visual arts, waterfalls are not only motifs; they are sources of imagination to be appropriated, copied and altered. One has only to look at the New York City Waterfalls installed by the artist Olafur Eliasson last year to find a spectacular demonstration of how a waterfall can be both a product of engineering excellence and a wonder of nature at the same time.

Birgit Schlieps has brought her own adaptation of a waterfall to the former watchtower in the park Schlesischer Busch in Berlin. She has installed photographic murals of Niagara Falls on the watchtower’s interior walls. Schlieps’ artwork is based on a photograph she found by chance at a flea market in New York City in 1992 in an album of 31 photographs of Niagara Falls. The pictures were taken using a bellows camera
by two brothers who were visiting the famous waterfalls on the border shared by the United States and Canada in 1920. The photo album contains precise details as to which side of the falls the pictures were taken from and what part of the waterfalls can be seen in each photograph. The motif on display in the 

Birgit Schlieps: Niagara Falls
General view of Niagara Falls from Int. Bridge, September 1920 (private photography, taken by two unknown brothers who worked for the Cunard Line New York)

Birgit Schlieps: Niagara Falls, interior view, Photo: Silke Helmerdig
Birgit Schlieps: Niagara Falls, interior view, Photo: Silke Helmerdig

watchtower is a panorama of the (American) Niagara Falls and the (Canadian) Horseshoe Falls and was taken from the International Suspension Bridge, an ideal standpoint on the border between the two states, in no man's land.

The motif is rendered in large pixels arrayed in a multitude of single points, like the misty spray of a waterfall. The artwork relies on the viewer’s distance to form an overall image, but the narrow space of the watchtower dissolves the trompe l’oeil somewhat and turns our attention toward the

atmosphere produced by this natural event, the technical nature of the image and ultimately the question of perception.

Birgit Schlieps’ is fascinated by this third entity which perception creates and which she refers to as “trance-like topology”, to quote Martin Kippenberger. In his text 1984: How It Really Was, From the Example of Knokke, Kippenberger describes how the perception of nature is based on physical composure: “I squint at the sky. If I look directly at the sun and then close my eyes, I see an orangey pink glow with two bluish green circles. I love that, so I squint at the sky. It’s a psychedelic, low-grade but good.” Birgit Schlieps understands topology as concrete spatial relations which become an integral part of different places and realities in our imagination. The waterfall and the watchtower thus become an imaginary event in which different temporal and spatial levels merge into one: 1920 Ontario with upstate New York, where the photo was taken; W 25th St., Ave of the Americas and Fifth Ave in 1992 New York City, where Schlieps found the photo album; and finally the current location and time of Schlesischer Busch, Berlin, 2009.

On the watchtower’s exterior Schlieps installed wooden scaffolding much like the ones used in stage design. The scaffolding undermines the building’s appearance of stability and permanence. It is a sculptural intervention that transforms the watchtower into the temporary construction of a reality that can be taken apart at any time.

Political borders are also imaginary; they are abstract places emerging only where different spatial and temporal events overlap. By projecting the image of a border-crossing waterfall onto the watchtower’s physical structure, Birgit Schlieps makes this process visible.

The Niagara Falls exhibition was made possible with generous support from Lutz Alder and Kulturamt Treptow-Köpenick.








LÜ 2008
Christine Berndt: Opera Sculpture "Dorle"
8.5.–8.6.08

in conjunction with Helmut Oehring (composition) and Natalia Pschenitschnikowa (vocals/recorder) as well as Torsten Ottersberg (GOGH sound production)

Christine Berndt: Opernskulptur "Dorle", "Wir waren auch fröhlich", Installation im Erdgeschoss, DVD, 15 min
Christine Berndt: Opera sculpture"Dorle", "Wir waren auch fröhlich", installation in the ground floor, 15 min

Taking the former watch tower in the “Schlesischer Busch” in Berlin Treptow-Koepenick as the medium, the artist
Christine Berndt developed the opera sculpture “Dorle”. The project, in conjunction with the composer Helmut Oehring and the singer Natalia Pschenitschnikowa, came to life staging GDR history as a conjunction of documentary, contemporary music and architectural intervention. Starting point is the watch tower as a relic and architectural witness of the GDR regime. It forms the framework for the biography of “Dorle”, a woman whose family history paradigmatically retells German history.

The multimedia exhibition refers to “Dorle’s” life on three levels and in this way follows the given vertical structure and architecture of the watch tower: On the first floor the
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video installation “Propaganda” with excerpts from the German Wochenschau, newsreel broadcasts, in the time between 1942 to 1945 refers to the Second World War, which “Dorle’s” father, a general in the German Wehrmacht experienced in Stalingrad. This is the backdrop to “Dorle’s” family history. Although these years are shaped by the war, the choice is restricted to everyday and seemingly insignificant occurrences which by being staged in a rather propagandist manner are just as much part of the collective subconscious or awareness as are the representative pictures and images of war of that time.

On the second windowless floor a surrounding text encircles the visitor. This represents excerpts from “Dorle’s” diary which tell of “Dorle’s” attempted escape from the GDR, her following imprisonment and lastly her position as an unofficial employee of the Stasi.

The visitor is included in this torturing self assessment and self questioning, which “Dorle” conducts after the demise of the GDR and until her death with increasing intensity. – The so called Freiwache, an open space, on the top floor is filled with the

Christine Berndt: Openskulptur "Dorle", ohne Titel (Auszüge aus "Dorles" Tagebuch), Installation im Zwischengeschoss,  45 min
Christine Berndt: Opernskulptur "Dorle", untilted (excerpts from "Dorle's" diary), installation at first floor, 45 min
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Christine Berndt: Opernskulptur "Dorle" (Uraufführung)
Christine Berndt: Opera sculpture"Dorle", first release

mono song of “Dorle”. The libretto lasting 20 minutes, a composition by Helmut Oehring, varies excerpts from the diaries. By transposing these diary excerpts into song, Natalia Pschentschnikowa, “Dorles” conflict is brought into our awareness and attains present significance. In this tripartite installation, this is the element with the most immediate impact on the viewer.

The composition was performed live only once to celebrate the opening of the exhibition. On the evening of May 6th 2008 the watch tower turned into a closed shell which was enclosed by the singer and the instrumentalist in place of “Dorle”. Four surveillance cameras recorded the happening inside the building and project the solo performance onto the outer layer of the building while the instrument and the voice were transmitted to the outside via amplifiers, through the illumination of the projectors and the emerging instrumental and voice the outer walls of the watch tower dissolved.

With the friendly support of Kunstfonds Bonn, Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei, Hypo-Kulturstiftung München, and Kulturamt Treptow-Köpenick.









LÜ 2007
Ulrike Kuschel: This Wall
3.8. - 30.9.07

How important is an individual opinion?  What kind of significance has a document? How does the design of a document, the way in which it is presented, influence its content?

The works of the Berlin artist Ulrike Kuschel can be seen as works in analysing the significance of the documentary. At the former border watch tower at Schlesischer Busch, she realised a two-piece work in which she uses the benchmark data of 13th August 1961 and 20th March 2007 to define margins of the history of the Berlin Wall. While the visitor looks out from the second floor into the park, the former border strip, the empty observation room is filling with voices. These voices are reactions on the wall building and opinions of unnamed citizens, collected in August/September 1961 by local SED authorities in order to evaluate the public opinion and to prepare possible adequate measures. Ulrike Kuschel selected some of these transcribed statements from the “Situational Reports from the Borroughs” and arranged for these short sentences to be spoken on tape anew. In such a way communicated two times, they now get into the ears of the visitiors at the watchtower.

“Why don’t you hold elections? Elections would show what the population thinks.” “I’d rather eat kangaroo meat than become a bolshevist.“ “How will the colleagues from the outskirts get back home?“ – Dialects, colloquial language and context-oriented speech were maintained in the transcription. 

Hence, the statements kept their original expression while the sound of the voices
* added to their current presence. The six minutes long audio installation called “Things will be even better now – August 1961“ becomes a filter that influences the perception of the watchtower and its environment.

On the mezzanine floor, six enlarged newspaper pages dated 20th March 2007 are displayed in a rather sober and museum-like manner. The day before the Berlin Superior Court of Justice revoked the provisional injunction of the Berlin District Court against the distribution of the book “Deutsche Gerechtigkeit”, in which the author, Roman Grafe, criticallly disputes the insufficient trials of the Berlin Wall Shootings. This revoked ban resulted from a law case of a former political officer who was deployed in the Border Regiment No. 33, i.e. at the border section called “Schlesischer Busch”. In the six newspapers that Ulrike Kuschel assembled and arranged for her installation “20th (19th) March 2007, German Justice (Deutsche Gerechtigkeit)” this incident is discussed from different perspectives and different weighings. Her decision not only to present the specific articles but to display the complete newspaper pages leads to the effect that the described incident will also be perceived within the context of the news coverage of everday politics.

How does the design of a document, the way in which it is presented, influence its content? The exhibition “This Wall”  tries to re-center the awareness of the watchtower as a part of the Berlin Wall, built for political reasons and with severe consequences for the people in the GDR. For that reason, Ulrike Kuschel decided to imitate the design of historical-political exhibitions but, at the
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Ulrike Kuschel: 20. (19.) März 2007, Deutsche Gerechtigkeit, 2007
Ulrike Kuschel: 20. (19.) März 2007, Deutsche Gerechtigkeit, 2007

Ulrike Kuschel: „Jetzt wird es noch schöner – August 1961", Audioinstalltion, 2007
Ulrike Kuschel: „Jetzt wird es noch schöner – August 1961", Audioinstalltion, 2007

same time, she leaves their narrow limits and gives way to communicating the presented incidents from a subjective perspective.

Press: Interview with Ulrike Kuschel, WDR, August, 13








Frans van Lent: Raam
8.6. - 22.7.2007

A step to the window. A hand shielding the eyes from the light. A long gaze out on the street. The way back into the room.

These activities take one minute in time; the artist Frans van Lent has repeated this simple and day-to-day action sixty times. What at first sight looks like a loop which – as common in artistic videos – accommodates the viewer with a sixtyfold repetition, then turns out to be an action unfolding itself in a flow of time.

In contrast to the elusive impression of the same time segment passing sixty times, you have to realise that there is just time passing. 60 minutes in which things and people will change, history will happen, the course of the sun will proceed, thoughts may pass, concentration will decrease, the body will get tired. Actually, the lighting situation changes in the run of the video. Actually, the gesture of stepping-to-the-window becomes subject to variations which are inevitable and subtle at the same time. But this isn't the topic just as its repetition isn't.

On the first floor of the former border watchtower which is structured by the iron shutters of the eight loop holes, the video with a window as main topic is projected onto the wall heading to the West. The fictitious window seems to open the wall. But there is symbolism beyond. The wall remains impenetrable and closed just as the world behind the window glass. Again you find repetition and variation: The moving of the leaves on the tree, the cars scurrying by which you can only see indirectly, as a reflection in the window pane of a car parked in the foreground.
- There is no secret. Even in case you are patient enough to digest – in a kind of quasi-meditation – the entire 60
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Frans van Lent: Raam

Frans van Lent: Raam

minutes of the video, you will not see anything else but the opening sequence. There is no visible reason to step to the window. Its repetition turns the gesture into an autonomous one, just acting self-referentially. Likewise, the position of the viewer becomes arbitrary and therefore dubious. With him, the assumed viewer at the window becomes an object of watching. Diverging from the former assumption, the glance of the viewer is not directed over the shoulder of a fictitious viewer to an objectified world – the outside – but is
Frans van Lent: Raam

Frans van Lent: Raam

reflected, back into real space and into the present. It is this direction of impact that lead to the artist's decision of  - for the time of the exhibition - blocking the way to the upper floor with its view to the outside in order to obstruct just this view to what happens on the outside of the watchtower. Here again, the window (in dutch: raam) opens to the inside.


With the friendly support of the CBK Dordrecht.








Georg Klein: turmlaute.2
16.03. - 15.04.2007

Georg Klein: turmalute.2 (nachts)
*
Since the opening at 15 March 2007, the satirical art project "turmlaute.2” of the sound and media artist Georg Klein (Berlin) provokes considerable irritations and confusion in the public and among visitors. The pretty convincing performance of the European Boder Watch Organisation is effected by running a professional Website and awide distribution of realistic and all-to-true invitations. These mails offer to all EU citizens the opportunity to survey the European Borders by registering as a web patrol. An offer which has been taken seriously in many cases and has been commented accordingly. Many of these comments as well as the first web patrol registrations are documented in the “book of comments” which is displayed at the installation. The installation itself consists of three visually and acoustically designed interior rooms which all are pervaded with dense and intense sound structures as well as some interventions in the outer space:
In the ground floor: reception/registration by the European Border Watch Organisation (EUBW); 1st floor: showroom with six  loophole-webcam-screens, camp bed, and  telephone; 2cd floor: green, acoustic controlroom with interactive surveillance technique and the voice of a border guard; roof: loud speaker and green lighting  und grün leuchtender searchlight.
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Georg Klein: turmlaute.2
Georg Klein: turmlaute.2

Become a Webpatrol!
Further information about the European Boder Watch Organisation
Press: Deutschlandfunk, 5.4.07

A project by KlangQuadrat – office for sound and media art berlin, assistance by Amrei Buchholz (PR), Marina Szimkowski (visitors care), and Alf Dobbert (komraum), in Kooperation mit MaerzMusik/Berliner Festspiele und Kunstfabrik am Flutgraben e.V. und in freundlicher Zusammenarbeit mit Kulturamt Bezirksamt Treptow-Köpenick Berlin.








LÜ 2006
Roland Boden/
Institut fuer Subreale Urbanistik: Chaotic Magnetic Vortices
1. - 29.10.2006

Recently, there have been repeated reports of strange occurrences of heat and light in the area of Schlesischer Busch, the area between what today is called Puschkinstraße and Jordanstraße, and between Flutgraben and Bouchéstraße in Berlin Treptow. It is said that metal objects heat up abnormally, sometimes all the way to glowing, and incidents of lightning-like discharges and a grumbling and booming that seemingly comes from the ground are reported. These occur­rences happen only very rarely and irregularly, and usually do not last long.

A correlation with meteorological or atmospheric causes can definitely be ruled out. The cause of these occurrences clearly lies in the centre of the earth. Since these phenomena are especially linked to strong magnetic field fluctuations, we must assume a magnetic anomaly, for which we have the term of chaotic magnetic vortex, a term controversial among experts since 1922. What is assumed here is a geolo­gically not explicable Ferrite vein of magnetite, which is possibly caused by a gigantic deposit of dead magnetotactic bacteria whose body contains a mineral which these organisms use for orientation in the earth’s magnetic field. This massing leads, when initialised in the sense of a vertical clumping, to an extremely strong short-term unbalance in the earth’s magnetic field. When such a magnetic erup­tion happens, especially iron objects in the area of influence heat up very strongly, in single cases it can even lead to flash-like evapo­ra­tions. People with a disposition for such occurrences can even in a greater distance perceive so-called magnetophosphenes.

In this context, several occurrences from the older and more recent past now appear in a different light. Undoubtedly the oldest occurrence is the mysterious demise of a Mongolian group of fighters after the battle of Liegnitz in Silesia in April 1241. A Mongolian division under the leadership of Kaidu Khan had beaten the united German-Polish army of knights and now threatened to overrun all of central Europe. To this purpose, the Mongolians sent large mounted units for exploration to the north and west. One of these units disappeared inexplicably in summer 1241 near the city of Cölln at the bank of the river Spree. - Ascanian chronicles speak of the direct intervention of the Saviour, a Chinese scribe reports a devilish fire on the armours of the riders, and flashes from their weapons, killing a majority of the men; the remaining ones fled in a panic. This incident is possibly one of the reasons for the seemingly causeless retreat of Batu Khan’s victorious army, without which Europe would probably have become a Mongolian province.
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Roland Boden: Konfuse magnetische Wirbel, 2006

At the end of the nineteenth century, an event happened at the Jordan chemical factory next to the area under discussion. Several wrought-iron kettles for the production of aniline in hall IV, located next to Schlesischer Busch, without discernable reason, heated up to incandescence. A great explosion happened, causing injuries to several workers. Since it was suspected that agents from the Russian secret police were behind this, the event even had an effect on the “three-emperor meeting” that took place in September of that year.

A further documented incidence took place 95 years later. At the tower built by the border troops of the GDR in that area in the late 1970s, fire broke out, ammunition exploded, and numerous shots were fired. In the west, it was assumed that a failed attempt to break through the border had occurred, and the GDR leadership did not usually comment on events like that. But as a witness, the then sergeant of the GDR border troops Dollmeier reports today, there had not been an attempt to escape at that time. For “inexplicable reasons”, suddenly the barrels of some of the machine guns Kalash­nikov AK 47, located in the weapon storage of the tower heated up extremely, the wooden gun rack caught fire, and two sergeants were slightly injured as a result of these events. Later, after the Ministry for State Security had investigated the case intensively, it classified it as a perfidious
*
attack by the class enemy, to be countered with heightened watchfulness. Internally, a breach of order 30/74, i.e. alcohol abuse during service, was assumed.

The conclusion seems obvious that in all cases, historically so far apart, chaotic magnetic vortices were the cause of the incidents. This could possibly also explain the fact that beginning in 1961, in the border area Schlesischer Busch there was an increased frequency of firearm use that cannot be explained with the terrain alone. Possibly, border guards invented afterwards so-called border violations as a cover to explain inexplicable and not very believable stories of shots that went off by themselves.

It is also likely that the choice of the site for building a watchtower was not accidental. Today we know that the head of the pioneer division of the border regiment 33, colonel Sturm, who was respon­sible for the construction of the command tower, was a passionate adherent of various esoteric practices who chose the site for buil­dings personally with the aid of a dowsing rod to determine energy fields.

However, according to statements by witnesses, already in the 1920s the Thule-Gesellschaft and in the early 1940 the SS-Waffenhauptamt undertook experiments that suggest that the phenomenon was known at that time, and that apparently attempts were made to make it usable for the development of weapon technology. We only want to mention the magnetic ray gun “Odin 2”, with the aid of which allied bomb attacks were supposed to be warded of, but which was never actually built.

The greatest mystery about the phenomenon is the question of the initialisation of the vortices, that is, when and how such a magnetic anomaly occurs. Earlier suspicions about the influence of the Coriolis effect, the intensity of sunspots, or other physical extraterrestrial factors apparently cannot be confirmed.

Bit is it obviously possible to cause outbreaks of smaller intensity with the aid of a so-called phase resonance applicator. According to reports, a similar instrument was also used in the 1920s. It consists of electromagnetic spools in a certain order that produce an alternating magnetic field, which at a certain frequency can lead to a resonant vortex. Strangely, instruments that were subjected to sanctification by the church yielded much better results. Enquiries about this to the Lutheran Church Berlin-Brandenburg unfortunately remained unanswered so far. Possibly, information about the phenomena described is still regarded as so explosive that every attempt is made to keep it secret to this day.








Tina Born: Pavillon Nocturne
7. - 29.9.2006

For the windowless room, simply equipped with loopholes, on the first floor of the former border watchtower, Tina Born has designed a crystalline body, an irregular dodecahedron with a smooth, shiny surface, which does reveal nothing about its inner nature.
Tina Born: Pavillion Nocturne, Entwurf, 2006
Tina Born: Pavillon Nocturne (sketch), 2006

In a narrow room its presence causes
questions, first of all, how it got there. With its size the body is too big for the openings, through which one enters the room. The hard mirroring black of its surfaces, that reflect 
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Tina Born: Pavillon Nocturne, 2006, Foto: air art log
Tina Born: Pavillon Nocturne, 2006, Photo: air art log

the light, not only gives it the appearance of  a foreign body, but also adds an aura of dormant power to it, capable of hurting the skin of its surrounding architecture with its sharp edges. Thus the form not only irritates the observer, it also personates an irritation of the architecture, similar to a painful embedding, crystalline form, which matures in an organism until it causes, now grown, constant friction and pain, even leading possibly to the collapse of its environment. 

In its elusive form, on one hand like nature, on the other the matter of complex mathematic calculations and scientific specs, the dodecahedron always had a strong appeal with human beings (has exerted a strong fascination on human beings). The associations, that are created by the
polyhedron, made of twelve pentagons, were and are versatile. There are famous pieces of evidence in art history, for instance Dürer’s copperplate „Melencholia I“ (1514), various drawings by M.C. Escher or Salvador Dalí’s paintings „Das letzte Abendmahl“. In the 20th century it spooked as magical stone of 
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mostly extraterrestrial origin through science fiction literature and movies. All occurrences have in common the fascination for a still mysterious body, which for Platon represents as fifth platonic body the universe. In 2003 a French – American research team made the case, that the form of outer space would equate to a closed dodecahedron, and thus gave actuality to the theory of the antique scientist – even though the theory could not be proved so far.

In the tower the spacial narrowness forces the visitor to draw near the black body. The approach is inevitable. Inevitable as well is that the smooth surfaces play around with its mirror image. This factor is to be understood as direct iconographic acquisition: Dürer’s famous dodecahedron in „Melencholia I“ contained a secret, which was only revealed in the early thirties. That was when art historians discovered in a light shadow on one of his surfaces an image, perhaps a potrait of Dürer. Giacometti reverted to this discovery, when in 1934 he too created a dodecahedron-form with the bronze „Der Kubus“, in which he engraved a flat, almost invisible self-portrait. The sculpture, which he also gave the title „Pavillon Nocturne“, shows a perplexing spatial understanding, in which the small form is simultaneously inside and outside, excluding and including, head and space.

With the title „Pavillon Nocturne“ Born plays with the dual interpretation: the reference to Giacometti’s work and the possibility, to observe the dark past of the watchtower, which is discharged from its former function and surrounded by a park scenery, as "nocturnal pavilion".

Press: Interview Svenja Moor von air art log








Dave Allen: One Way, Another Way, Then Any Other Way
10.8. - 3.9.2006

Under five bars on a single musical stave, with 25 annotated numbered notes, there are a brief set of directions for the musicians: “Read from the left to the right, playing the notes as follows: 1, 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4 etc. When you have reached note 25, play the whole melody once again and then begin subtracting notes from the beginning: 2-…25, 3-…-25, 4-…-25, …
22-23-24-25, 23-24-25, 24-25, 25. Hold the last note until everybody has reached it, then begin an improvisation …”

Dave Allen’s exhibition “One Way, Another Way, Then Any Other Way” in the former Wachturm is based upon the five bar intro of the „Wouldn’t It Be Nice“ by the Beach Boys. The seminal, opening song from the legendary “Pet Sounds” album tells the story of two lovers who dream of never having to part again. Utilising the additive method described above the progression of the famous intro sequence is broken apart leaving the disjointed
elements of the melody. The end result of this minimalist treatment is a novel and highly graphic sequential structure. The compositional formula quotes Frederic Rzewski (*1938), one of the most important and influential American composers and performers of the 20th Century. The 
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ave Allen: One Way, Another Way, Than Any Other Way, 2006
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continual exploration of improvisation and collective collaboration as a process has been a central part of his work output, as a composer and as a performer with Musica Elletronica Viva. He is often described as an overtly political composer, in writing pieces derived from Chilean protest songs or the letters of an inmate of Attica State Prison in the U.S.

Dave Allen’s transference of Rzewski’s additive melodic formula to the song of the Beach Boys is a discerning, yet fitting straight transformation of content and form of the two seemingly separate entities – as the convergence of the motifs and their later separation is realised during the progression of the piece. The melody gradually draws nearer its origin
and source, it is played through completely (1-…-25), and then it will once more unravel itself. There is also the possibility for the individual instruments to merge and diverge, as the piece allows the musicians to get it together and lose the place. The instructions continue: “Always play loud, never stop or falter, stay together as long as you can, but if you get lost, stay lost, do not try to find your way back into the fold.”

In the make up of a classic rock band – guitars, bass and drums – Dave Allen and The Astrid Marschall Band will perform the Beach Boys notation in Allen’s re-arranged sequence on 10th August at the Wachturm.








raumlabor_berlin: Wohnen im Turm. Bauvorhaben: Wohnanlage Schlesischer Busch
8.06. - 30.7.2006

With the project “Living in the Tower. Building Intention: Housing Estate Schlesischer Busch” records the group of architects raumlabor_berlin for eight weeks the former border watch tower in Schlesischer Busch as part of the series “Letzte Überprüfung”. Starting point is the border watch tower with ist functional architecture, ist history and relevant regards. As so called leadership point the border watch tower in Schlesischer Busch fulfilled a special function in the system of the Berlin Wall. 18 subordinate watch towers were guided, and the electronic border security systems controlled, from here.

LUe_raumlabor_03.jpg
raumlabor_berlin: Wohnen im Turm, 2006

Since the downfall of the Wall there is a space which has lost its function, running through the new resp. old middle of what is now one city - Berlin. After the usage of almost 30 years there has developed a vaccuum along this stripe of 44 kilometres length between front and hinterland wall, which is hardly tolerable for parts of the  

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public. Others saw in this unique emptiness in the middle of a metropolis a breeding ground for temporary and continual urban uses. While some wished for the fast
joining together of the city and the healing of it’s wounds, others felt regrets because of the disappearance of traces of history.

At Schlesischer Busch there is only the watch tower left to inform the unknowing ones about the by-gone story of the public area which is now a park. Nearby, at the Heidelberger Straße, the district border between Treptow and Neukölln, the youth circus Kabuwazi and a discount store of Plus have established. A big top and a supermarket hall, usually building types of the temporary you would find rather in suburbs, give the former wall stripe the character of the periphery.

The project “Living in the Tower” draws the attention to this perception. The watch tower, which is under preservation order, as the most prominent relic of the Berlin Wall in Berlin-Treptow, is liberalised for the plan game to be changed into an ordinary building type of the periphery - the detached house.

In the first phase from 8th June until 5th July, Francesco Apuzzo and Axel Timm from raumlabor_berlin will shift their planning office to the watch tower, and work on situations of changed usage in scetches and models together with visitors of the exhibition as potential “clients”. A building sign at Puschkinallee not only informs about the project and “wins” visitors of the exhibition as participants for the plan game, but also a selected building intention is presented here weekly. During the second
phase from 6th July until 30th July the created drafts will be exhibited in the tower.


Press: RBB-Kulturradio, 6.7.06
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Detail Wachturmmodell, Foto: C. Diribas
Watchtower model, Photo: C. Diribas

Wachturmmodelle, Foto: C. Diribas
Watchtower models, Photo: C. Diribas









Sofia Hultén: Events With Unknown Outcome, 4. - 28.5.2006

Sofia Hultén: Events With Unknown Outcome, Installationsansicht, 2006, Foto: S. Hultén
Sofia Hultén: Events With Unknown Outcome, installation view
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In the frontier watchtower Sofia Hultén presents a four-part video as a result of her observations in the adjoining park. Four monitors extend the panopticon of the view below on the second floor of the former watchtower. In the frames of the windows and monitors, present blends with past, real with staged. The viewer cannot withdraw from the perspective, becomes an observer, beegins to speculate on the significance of the happenings in the park. In the end the same applies to observations and incidents in the park: They are events with unknown outcome.
 

Sofia Hultén: Events With Unknown Outcome, 2006 (Detail), Fotos: S. Hultén
Sofia Hultén: Events With Unknown Outcome, 2006 (Detail), Photos: S. Hultén




The projects in 2006 were made possible by the project grant of the Senatsverwaltung für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur.









LÜ 2005
Ines Tartler: open
1.09. –
9.10.2005

The former watchtower in the Schlesischer Busch is equipped with sixteen windows and eight arrow slits. Now
Ines Tartler has unblocked the building with a sparing gesture by opening the casements in the so called Freiwache [watch below] and by loosing the cotters in the middle floor of the watchtower. Now the wind enters the building. During the day the warmth, by night the cold comes in. The sounds from the surrounding park as well as the noises from the street come nearer. And the shadows start dancing on the walls. One may discover the swinging leaves of the old oaks or some discrete cars passing the walls – head first, because of the camera obscura effect.

Ines Tartler: offen, 2005, Foto: Ines Tartler
Ines Tartler: open, 2005, Photos: Ines Tartler
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There are not only these images of the outside world falling under special conditions into the watchtower. The whole building has become an amplifier, accumulating and concentrating the optical, haptic and acoustic impulses from outside, transmitting them to the visitor inside. The blank rooms of the watchtower direct the visitors attention to the architecture, the senses are sharpened. In this attention one may find a parallel between the current visitor on the one hand and the border guard from the past on the other hand. But you won’t be able to adopt the observers position in the watch below, even so the architecture still seems to impose it upon you, since now the glances cross the opened windows in both directions. The former constitutive situation of the secure persons inside and the observed outside is reversed – at least for a moment.

Ines Tartler chose a placative gesture, particularly if the sun is shining, but it is not a naïve one. From where the gaze is now going westward through the arrow slits to the bushes bordering the river Flutgraben, in former time it would have been stopped by the 3,60 m wall, the so called ‘Letztes Sperrelement’ (last blocking device). The soldiers could have never seen sunbathing visitors within the range of vision. Their bored, acccording to the inscriptions in the reveals, sometimes even wishful look, never followed the line of cars, which is now enlivening the former dead-end street. 

Ines Tartler: offen, 2005, Foto: Ines Tartler

Ines Tartler: offen, 2005, Foto: Ines Tartler
Through the apertures, the ventilation slots, the arrow slits, the doors, and windows the presence, with it’s different appearances, enters the watchtower, leaving a mark by the visitor – contradictory or harmonious, intensive or fleeting.








Shahram Entekhabi: kilid
14.7. – 21.08.2005

Shahram Entekhabi: kilid, 2005
Shahram Entekhabi: kilid, 2005

Shahram Entekhabi: kilid, Innenansicht, 2005
Shahram Entekhabi: kilid, interior view, 2005

„Security advice: Please watch out for abandoned objects and luggage in trains and at platforms. Use the SOS Telephone to inform us.“ This line accompanies the current programme of the “Berliner Fenster”, the public transportation TV of the capital’s subways, since the bomb attacks in London  
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have happened. It is the subtitle of commercials, stupid celebrity news  and recommendations for mostly third-class events and cooking recipes. The „Berliner Fenster“: involuntary medium of a cynic realism between murder, threat, kitsch, war, security advices, infotainment and advertisement.

The safety measures remind us of opening an umbrella after everybody has gotten wet already. Who is shooting or bombing, when, and why? How is ideology legitimated? How does one decline fundamentalism? What is the ra­tio­nale for national security?

At the former physic border of the allied forces of the cold war, the former inter-German dividing line of two so­cially organised ideologies, and one of the last watchtowers of the former GDR in Berlin, is where the work „kilid“ of the artist Shahram Entekhabi, born in Iran, is shining. A six meter-long key (kilid, key in English), made of aluminium and equipped with 400 light bulbs, colored in the colors of the Iranian flag with the image of the tulip of Allah, is shining over the former border area and marks the current ideological border, a bor­der that is embattled in a hot and severe war.

Once the one enmity is overcome, the next one is immediately emerging. The ideology of Islamic fun­da­men­ta­lism confronts the ideology of a hysteric, industrialized Christianity and the societies derived from it.

Entekhabi’s „kilid“ is also to be understood as a symbol and a reference to the small plastic keys, handed to children soldiers in the Iraqi/Iranian war. They were handed to them as the key to the otherworldly paradise
to equip them also in a ideological way for martyrdom, before the children were used as human mine detectors. The bombs tear up bodies, souls seek refuge in paradise. At the watchtower, visitors will find countless used original keys, which do not lock or open any lock anymore. Every visitor may choose one and take it home.

Entekhabi’s work, reminding of neon advertisement signs, the aesthetics of fairs and village festivals, casts a new light on the watchtower, the remains and current symbol of a past, formerly proud, industrialized security system. 

What is more cruel: the development of weapons that can – like in a computer game - finally be navigated  un­manned by the generation of Playstation-Maniacs, suggesting a clean war, or the seduction of children,   youngs­ters, and adults to volunteer as victims and weapons? The entry to Allah’s heart is paid as reward.

The industrial and digital weapon technology serve the game of the weapon industry in its battle for markets, where functionality is checked in the reality-test of current crisis and war regions. The fanatic religiousness serves the mullahs to secure their power interests.

Who is shooting and bombing, when, and why? How is ideology legitimated? By installing Sharam Entekhabi’s work on the watchtower, new fields of interpretation and reference for his work as well as for the tower as historic remains will emerge.

With the friendly support of THW Treptow-Köpenick and Zumtobel Staff.








Sigalit Landau: Barbed Hula
19.5. – 10.7.2005

The slow circling hips keep the hula hoop running. It's weight hits the flesh and leaves indentations and bruises there. The barbs on it hurt the skin. But the motion keeps going on – endlessly, monotonously, languorously like the see in the background of the scene.

The performance „Barbed Hula“ was developed in 2001 as a non-public act, performed on the beach of the Mediterranian coast nearby Tel Aviv by the Israeli artist Sigalit Landau. It's a short, but painfull film. Because the sequence of one and a half minutes is in slow motion and looped the film becomes endlessly (DVD, 1:53 min, loop). So the circling of the barbed loop, the confontation of the vulnarable body on the one and the adamant barbed wire on the other hand comes to the fore. It seems that the hula is moving of it's own accord because of the restrained releasing motion of the hips.

Sigalit Landau's performance is more than just a private experiment to check out her physical limits. One can take it as a
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metaphor for a crucial border, that depends on the action (and therewith the human beings) to perpetuate itself. One can take it as a metaphor for the conflict between Israel and Palestine which lasts for decades. In a more abstract sense one can take it as a symbol for the experience of political borders. The reduced, abstract and elementary scenery – the naked body, the rush of the see, the simple and endless flow – backs this interpretation.

In the former Watchtower Schlesischer Busch, relict and symbol of the borderland around West-Berlin, the hula-dancing body sensitize the perception for the physicalness of it's pure functional architecture. One becomes aware of the building's emptyness as well as the absence of the former users. Thus, the idea of the physicalness of a system arises, a system, which captured itself in an endless circle. There is a parallel between the way the pan shot from the violated body to the see alleviates the viewer of the filmed performance and the feeling that the visitors of the watchtower may have, coming from the dark mezzanine floor up to the light flooded „Freiwache“ (observing floor). But the view around the nature of the surrounding park is ambivalent.
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Sigalit Landau: Barbed Hula, 2003
Sigalit Landau: Barbed Hula, 2003

From this perspective the former borderland has nothing in common with the park, except some kind of clarity. It's the observer's position that remained the same.








Abwehr-Performance-Festival
25./26.8.2007





Nezaket Ekici: Nazar

Dressed in a long robe composed of 600 shiny blue glas amuletts Nezaket Ekici makes her way through the Kreuzbergian Wrangelstrasse. These “blue eyes” from Turkey (turkish: nazar) shall protect the bearer and are said to avert “the evil eye”.  But here the artist draws all glances on her and her dazzling robe of 40 kilos weight. In consequence, she becomes both: a powerful bearer of the amulett and the possible victim of these glances. The performance “Nazar” creates an attractive picture and thereby thematises the paradoxes of defense. “Nazar” was first per formed in Istanbul in 2005.   


Duo Stoll & Wachall: Des-Infektion

The German Medical Handbook defines disinfection as “turning dead or living ma­terial into a state of no longer being infectuous”. In the name of defense the duo Stoll & Wachall was engaged to patrol through the “Schlesischer Busch”, dressed up in protection suits, carrying tanks on their backs. Their mission: “Disinfection of the park and its visitors, to prevent them and us against all thinkable infections. By this security measure we increase both, the general hygenie and the general hysteria. We take care for all invisible killing cells. We fight back all attacks from bacteria, germs, and viruses.

Anny und Sibel Öztürk: NÖ-Performance

Experience the remake of the legendary Beuys art performance “ja ja ja ja ja, nee nee nee nee nee”, first performed at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf 1986! Anny and Sibel Öztürk meet on the green meadow where they skillfully practice what our fellow citizens of turkish origin like to do in the public greens of Berlin: they have a picnic. And what are they doing besides having a picnic in the public green of Berlin? Right: they do the Joseph Beuys ! In accordance with the historical original, the sisters are taking turns in the acts of confirmation and negation while in their per­for mance they substitute the german “nee” (no) by the more emphatic “nö”.

Abwehr_BoxingBox_04_SM.jpg

Duo Stoll & Wachall: Des-Infektion

Anny und Sibel Öztürk: NÖ-Performance





Ona Tav: Der Körper als Quelle

Nevin Aladag: Raise The Roof

Shahram Entekhabi/Becky Ofek:





Ona Tav: The Well-Spring Body

You are wandering through a park. On one of its trees you see a white knight’s armour tied to its stem and two of its branches. Tears of red wine are running down from the eyeholes, slashing the white body on its way down to the feet into a basin so to satisfy one’s thirst. Day after day the tree keeps on standing. The cloud is the ceiling of the skies and we are drinking from its sweat. We dunk our cup into these tears of wine so that in our throat they will turn into fire and we can await the tears from the skies. There is no soul without a world and no tears without a soul. He dressed up in metal to prevent the world from pain but he couldn’t stop his own crying.

Nevin Aladag: Raise The Roof

Nevin Aladag stages a sort of dance on the roof of the Kunstfabrik. Four dancers move to the beats of four different pieces of music which the audience will not hear but only learn titles and length. Instead, they hear the amplified sound of kitten heels piercing through the prepared dance floor.This dance on the roof – where in earlier times GDR border soldiers patrolled – is not a mutual dance. In twofold isolation, marked-off from each other and from the audience, the gestures of attraction and defense constituted in this dance have lost all points of reference.

Shahram Entekhabi/Becky Ofek:
Boxing Box


My dearest sport fans, the shadow lighted area is filled with the poisoned dirty smell of no return. This is not about fighting, this is about living, my dear friends. Come and see the warm aggressed blood of 2 dangerous fools exploding like a Russian nuclear power sta tion in an unforgettable century fight between the sexes. Woman versus Man, Bitch versus Bastard. Be witness of the battling Cyclops high up in the sky, fighting their gender pain away. Bäng bäng buff.

Abwehr is a project by Shahram Entekhabi and Svenja Moor
in co-operation with Kunstfabrik am Flutgraben e.V. and with the friendly support of the Regierender Bürgermeister von Berlin, Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten
Logo Land Berlin

Fotos oben mitte, unten links/mitte: Lars Frers, Lizenz:
CC-BY-SA-NC




 

Imprint



Flutgraben e.V.
Am Flutgraben 3
12435 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 53 21 96 58
E-Mail: info [ett] flutgraben [punkt] org

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Team LÜ 2005: Sirid Amsel, Mari Brellochs, Elke Frietsch, Svenja Moor
Team LÜ 2006: Svenja Moor, Ines Tartler
Team LÜ 2007ff: Svenja Moor, Birgit Neumann (staff
)

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© 2009.
All rights reserved: Flutgraben e.V.






Letzte Überprüfung im Schlesischen Busch ia a project by Flutgraben e.V., with the friendly support of the Bezirksamt Treptow-Köpenick von Berlin Treptow-Köpenick, Abteilung Umwelt, Grün und Immobilienwirtschaft, awarded with the quality label Berliner Mauer of the Senatskanzlei Berlin. Member of network Mauerfall09.
Gütezeichen Berliner Mauer      Logo Mauerfall09