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FORWARD ALWAYS, BACKWARD NEVER?

Discussion: Kreuzberg Political and Subculture in the Wake of the Fall of the Wall

With Francoise Cactus (musician and artist), Alfons Kujat (actor),
Wolfgang Müller (author and artist), Klaus Theuerkauf (artist and gallery owner/endart).
Moderation: Erik Steffen

KREUZBERG MUSEUM | Adalbertstr. 95A | 10999 Berlin | November 20, 2014 at 7 pm

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INFORMATION

No other biotope reacted as sensitively to the fall of the Wall as Kreuzberg's scene culture. An exodus towards the East, an insistence on subcultural traditions and political positions. A mixture between awakening and stagnation. A colorful mixture of off-culture heroes looks back on upheavals and breakups, a caesura that questioned the old and made the new possible.

Plakat | Vergrösserung
Poster | Photo: Dietmar Kirves | Archives

The poster photo was taken during a four-hour action on the occasion of the fall of the Wall at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin on November 26, 1989 with my sons Martin and Felix. more

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VIDEOCLIP | 21:41 min | in German

COMMENT by KREUZBERG MUSEUM: At the last round of discussions in the "Breaking Down Walls" program, Françoise Cactus, Alfons Kujat, Wolfgang Müller and Klaus Theuerkauf told witty anecdotes from the Kreuzberg cultural scene of the 1980s, recalled the fall of the Wall and reflected on the indifference of today's zeitgeist. The whole thing was masterfully moderated by Erik Steffen. We thank you for the very nice evening!

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ABOUT THE PANELISTS:

Françoise Cactus grew up with three siblings in Villeneuve-l'Archevêque. She studied in Besançon, and Paris. In Norway, she met a Berliner in 1985, whom she followed a short time later to Berlin, where she was influenced by the Hausbesetzerszene. There she founded the band Lolitas and later with her partner Brezel Göring the band Stereo Total.
In addition to music, Françoise Cactus has written several books and radio plays and exhibited drawings and objects. One of her objects called Wollita, a life-size crocheted doll, was featured in the tabloids Bild and B.Z. as evidence of a "child porn exhibition" at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien more than 20 times over the course of two weeks in April 2004. The theme of the exhibition, entitled "When Love turns to Poison," was a preoccupation with the darker side of sexuality and the topic of sexual violence. In response to the media campaign, Françoise Cactus wrote the book Wollita - vom Wollknäuel zum Superstar with Wolfgang Müller of Die Tödliche Doris. The Biography, which was published in October 2005 including a CD. The appeal "Wollita (18) must get the B.Z.-Kulturpreis!" was signed by over 25Françoise Cactus bezeichnet sich als Heimatlose.
Sie schätzt Roger Vadim und seinen Film Barbarella.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Françoise_Cactus

Alfons Kujat was a boxer, a member of the "Socialist Youth of Germany - the Falcons," a trade unionist, a cook, and a squatter. During his active times as a squatter and activist, Alfons Kujat was always in the front line. Due to the problematic situation in 1987 in the neighborhood (Berlin Kreuzberg), Kujat became more and more ambitious and joined the "Socialist Youth of Germany - the Falken".
Kujat now lives in Berlin as an actor and director. He also appears with the theater performance "The Life Confession of Francoise Villon", in which he tells the life confession of the French poet, crook and philosopher Francois Villon.
In 2005, together with the political scientist and historian Albert Scharenberg, he wrote the book Du nicht!: Stories aus dem Leben von Alfons Kujat. In it, the life story of the activist, boxer and actor is reproduced. He also held many readings about the book, including with Martin Semmelrogge. From 2005 to 2011 he took over the direction of the Pirate Open Air Theater and at the same time was on stage as an actor.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfons_Kujat

Wolfgang Müller studied graphic design/visual communication/experimental film design at the Berlin University of the Arts from 1980 to 1985. In 1982, he published the book Geniale Dilletanten (in succession to the Festival Genialer Dilletanten) with contributions by Gudrun Gut, Matthias Roeingh (later known as Dr. Motte), Tabea Blumenschein, Blixa Bargeld and Frieder Butzmann, among others, at Merve-Verlag. The book became a manifesto of a young West Berlin artist and musician scene.
Since the dissolution of Tödliche Doris in 1987, Müller has worked largely alone. In 1987 he published the album "BAT" with ultrasonic sounds of native bats made audible and showed bat oscillograms painted for this purpose in the Martin Schmitz Gallery in Kassel. As an actor he appeared in the films of Heinz Emigholz "Der zynische Körper" (D-1988-1991), Jörg Buttgereit "Nekromantik II" (D-1991), Grimur Hákonarson "Vardi goes Europe" (Iceland 2003) and "Sumarland" (Iceland 2010).
He has been involved with Iceland and its culture since 1990. In 1998, after the closure of the state Goethe-Institut in Reykjavík, he founded the world's first "private Goethe-Institut" in the Living Art Museum of Reykjavík, an art project which he had to rename the Walther von Goethe Foundation in 2002 after threats from the legal department of the Goethe-Institut in Munich. In 2002/2003, he taught as a visiting professor at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts and published Goethe's first scientific work Der Versuch die Metamorphose der Pflanzen zu erklären (Attempt to explain the metamorphosis of plants) from 1790 in its first Icelandic translation in the series Schriften der Walther von Goethe Foundation. The translator is the Icelandic lecturer at the University of Vienna, Jón Bjarni Atlason.
In 2003 Wolfgang Müller, who also appears as a performer, actor and author, released the music CD "Mit Wittgenstein in Krisuvik". With the electropop musician Namosh he performed in Copenhagen, Vienna, Stuttgart and Switzerland in 2005 and released a cover version of the Deadly Doris song "Schuld-Struktur" with him as a 12inch. As his sixth radio play at Bayerischer Rundfunk he produced in 2006 the homage "Das Dieter Roth Orchester spielt kleine Wolken, typische Scheiße und nie gehörtte Musik". He (re)released the first LP of Die Tödliche Doris without sound, transformed into sign language as a DVD. In 2008, on "Séance Vocibus Avium", he reconstructed songs of eleven extinct bird species according to scientific records. Wolfgang Müller is the creator of the word Elfenbeauftragte and is considered an expert on Iceland and elves.
His brother Max Müller is the singer of the Berlin band Mutter.
In 2009 Wolfgang Müller was awarded the Karl Sczuka Prize in Donaueschingen for his audio work Séance Vocibus Avium.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_M%C3%BCller_(artist)

Klaus Theuerkauf (born 1957 in Ingelheim) and his Endart Gallery helped shape the art of the 1980s in Berlin. Theuerkauf and his Endart Gallery belong to Oranienstrasse like the ritual riots on the first of May belong to Kreuzberg. Relics of the annual street riots also form the underbelly of a multi-part installation: "This is a torched container, and on top of it Angela Merkel." George Bush, Adolf Hitler, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Beuys, Theuerkauf treats them all the same in his art - and completely disrespectfully. The holy triumvirate of communism mutates into Santa Clauses, Beuys is half man, half skull.
The images often pair irreverence with political themes and bitter satire, and the artist also likes to depict explicit sex. In the wooden collage "The Ideal Woman," fellatio is taking place. "Everyone thought that was pretty sexist until they saw that the image could also be read as a critique of racism," Theuerkauf explains. The pictures can't simply be hung over the sofa; their gesture is too rebellious for that.
In the early nineties, when Endart had finally passed on, the music and especially jazz lover Theuerkauf founded the Original Oberkreuzberger Nasenflötenorchester. In smoky cellars or on large stages at jazz festivals, up to 30 men enthusiastically blow into a device placed over their nose and mouth. In doing so, they produce an infernal sound that can rival any bagpipe orchestra. Classics of rock music by Uriah Heep or Status Quo are blown through mercilessly. This is funny, weird and also a bit rebellious - just like Theuerkauf's pictures. (Richard Rabensaat)
http://www.tagesspiegel.de/kultur/klaus-theuerkauf-kein-respekt-fuer-niemand/3730838.html

Erik Steffen lives and works as a publicist, curator and literary mediator in Berlin. The view of people on the margins and their bulky biographies determines his perception. He writes for the Tagesspiegel, among others.

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