Photos, video and production: Steffen Freiling
Music: devil named Jones
Music recorded @ Tricone Studios, Berlin.
The spoken parts are all East Side Gallery quotes as painted on the wall. The text is spoken by: Jim Chase, Julien Lasala, Robert Johansson, Steffen Freiling
The East Side Gallery Berlin is the longest coherent and still preserved piece of the wall of the former wall between East and West Berlin. In 1990, this piece of the Berlin Wall was painted by 129 artists from 20 countries on the initiative of the two artists' associations VBK (GDR) and BBK (FRG).
After the last renovation in November 2009, I photographed the newly renovated East Side Gallery in more than 450 individual shots and created a coherent panorama photo with impressive dimensions from the individual shots: 655,000 x 3,500 pixels - or differently dissected, the photo could be 110 meters wide still be printed in fine art quality.
From the panoramic photo, I created a 20-minute video installation that gives the impression of a walk along the East Side Gallery. I wanted something special for the musical accompaniment and therefore asked an international band from Berlin to compose music for this video. All songs were recorded at the Funkhaus Berlin, the former headquarters of the "GDR Broadcasting Corporation".
The history of the East Side Gallery
Walter Ulbricht says on June 15, 1961, that nobody has the intention to build a wall. Two months later, work on the construction of the Berlin Wall begins. A wall that separates not only the two German states, but also the peoples of the world. A wall on which at least 138 die between 1961 and 1989.
On November 9, 1989, the wall falls.
In December 1989, the two artists' associations VBK (GDR) and BBK (FRG) propose the project "East Side Gallery" to the GDR Council of Ministers.
As of January 1990, less than two months after the fall of the Wall, the first artists began to paint the former wall between East and West.
It is an irony of fate that the opening of the East Side Gallery is one of the last official acts of the Council of Ministers of the GDR. The East Side Gallery will open on September 28, 1990 - on October 3, 1990, just five days later, the GDR is history and the two German states are reunited.
A wall that separated the peoples of the world for years now unites the peoples of the world over the arts. Up to 10,000 visitors a day watch this 1316-meter-long original wall piece and an international history and art monument.
According to press information, parts of the East Side Gallery were demolished at the wish of an investor in 2013. It is a further irony of fate that this investor, according to press information, was an "IM" in GDR times - an unofficial employee of the GDR Ministry of State Security.