The Teufelsberg Series was engineered as a spin-off project from the Dubl Trubl collaborative group exhibition at Urban Spree (18 September 2014 – 30 October 2014), which gathered the works of 90 artists, but only artworks resulting from a collaboration with another artist, therefore excluding solo pieces and blurring the lines of style and hierarchy.
The print series stems from the same collaborative spirit, however in a different way: this time, it consists of individual hand painted variations but on the same support, i.e. a hand pulled screen print of a drawing designed by german artist and illustrator Chrisse Kunst and printed in the Mother Drucker Ateliers at Urban Spree.
The black-and-white print was offered as a common playground for each artist, with ample white space (blank space has been widened on purpose during the print process and accounts for about 50% of the print), in order for each artist to have enough space to project their universe and vision with minimal existing constraints.
The project was launched just before the vernissage of the show and all 19 over-painted prints have been collected over time and eventually displayed in the gallery for the finissage of the show on October 30th.
Among the different drawings of Chrisse Kunst, Teufelsberg retained our attention owing to its incredible and multi-layered story: this iconic West Berlin dreamscape starts in 1945 when the US Army decided to destroy with explosives the foundations of a nazi Technical University in the Grunewald Forest, west of Berlin, near the ominously-named Teufelssee (The Devil’s Lake).
However, the walls were so thick (8 meters of reinforced concrete) that it proved impossible to blow away. In order to erase the remnants of this nazi symbol, the Americans decided to use the site as a wasteland and piled up the rubble of 25.000 destroyed houses from Berlin, resulting in a 120-meter high, all artificial hill, actually the highest “natural” elevation of the city. The name “Teufelsberg” (Devil’s Mountain), derives from the name of the nearby lake and cast an ominous and mysterious glow on that area.
Furthermore, in the 1960s, the NSA built on top of the plateau a hearing station to spy on the Soviets and East German administration . These are the buildings portrayed in the print, nowadays abandoned and decayed, and known as a famous graffiti spot, which is the present-day connection to our story.
A million thanks to our crew of Teufelberg warriors who participated in the project:
1UP/One United Power Crew | 44flavours | Andrew Gillman | Aeon & Billy | Ben Thé | Dave the Chimp | Dscreet | Ebot |Eoin | Malarky | Mark McClure | NTDC (Nothing To Do Crew) | Paul Insect |Pure Evil | Rylsee | Reka | Thierry Noir & Christiaan Nagel | Timba Smits | Twoone
The artworks of the series are available in Urban Spree Berlin or on our website here.