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Act two – RECAST

April 3, 2010 by · 1 comment

“Let’s go Home” – does that ring a bell? That is a show Public-Republic informed you about a couple of months ago. It was a project curated by the talented Charlotte Friling. Her new exhibition in association with An Paenhuysen is called RECAST.


Die Tödliche Doris

        Sasa Kovacevic

            Wolfgang Müller

                  Ming Wong


Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 9
10178 Berlin

    Opening days:

April 9 – May 2 2010
Tuesday to Saturday, Noon to 6PM and by appointment (030/24 34 29 20)

    Associated Events:

Thursday, April 8, 7PM: dance performance featuring the collection I’m a good socialist.
Choreographer: Justin F. Kennedy; Set design: Marija Merkwelt Ivosevic

Thursday, April 15, 7PM: Wolfgang Müller talks about Die Tödliche Doris and presents Ming Wong. Screening night & preview of Ming Wong’s latest work Devo Partire. Domani (2010).

April 30 – May 2, Gallery Weekend Berlin: RECAST will also be open on Sunday, May 2, from noon to 6PM

    About the show:

Recast brings together an artist as fashion designer, a Punk band, the founder of the Icelandic Walther von Goethe Institute and an artist disguised as a director playing an actor. From their personal experiences of being the odd one out, the included or the excluded, their work breaks up clichés and reductive institutional definitions of identity. “Authentic” material such as the uniforms of Tito’s socialist modernity, passport photographs of former West-Berlin photo booths, a classic British murder-mystery and a Grimm fairytale is questioned and re-articulated. In a humorous way, the multiplicity and shifting nature of identity is revealed.


She is real and at the same time, intangible.
She is there and at the same time, absent. She is serious and funny, nearby and distant – everything at the same time but never simultaneous, instead strictly side by side. She is smart, and she is at the same time ignorant, naive and unknowingly. She is me and I am you.

    Wolfgang Müller on Die Tödliche Doris,
    Material für die Nachkriegszeit.
    Dokumenten aus dem Fotomatonautomaten

Set 1979 and 1980 in the photo-booths of former West-Berlin subway stations: flashes of light lift moments of posing into the frame of representation. Confronted with what Roland Barthes accurately described as the “cunning dissociation of consciousness from identity” in the photograph, pictures are discarded, ripped, and crumpled upon leaving the photo-booth. Yet, the found photograph of a beautiful stranger marks the origin of the punk band Die Tödliche Doris. Conceptually defined as “sowohl als auch” (both… and…), Doris’ identity is constituted by discrepancies and dichotomies. The recomposition of disrupted passport photographs is the subject of Material für die Nachkriegszeit. Dokumenten aus dem Fotomatonautomaten, the first super 8mm film of Die Tödliche Doris.

Die Tödliche Doris was a multi-media performance art and music group based in West-Berlin, founded by and members Wolfgang Müller and Nikolaus Utermöhlen, and active from 1980 to 1987. Die Tödliche Doris was part of the Geniale Dilletanten movement, a sort of merger of the New Wave and Punk scenes.

Wolfgang Müller on Die Tödliche Doris, Dokumenten aus dem Fotomatonautomaten (1979/1980)
Photo: Wolfgang Müller on Die Tödliche Doris, Dokumenten aus dem Fotomatonautomaten (1979/1980)


Based on a true experience:

Coming from Ex-land entering into the European Union with a passport from a non-existing land, I was told that my land does NOT exist; my answer to that was: “Well, maybe My Land doesn’t exist but I certainly do!” I was standing in front of the officer claiming my own existence.

    Sasa Kovacevic, I’m a good socialist (2010)

The Berlin-based Serbian artist Sasa Kovacevic is the founder of a fashion state named Ex-Land. This “brave new nation” is a non-territorial state which laws are inscribed on and communicated by the clothing. Titled I’m a good socialist (2010) the collection (under the label SADAK) took a start with research about socialism in Former-Yugoslavia. In the Golden Sixties of Tito’s socialist modernity, words and signs from Balkan tradition were subversively embroidered on the austere uniforms that denied any assertion of an own identity. In his collection Kovacevic uses “socialist” symbols and statements – some in their original forms and some altered into alienated, or hybridized forms – to create a contemporary “Nationhood.”

Sasa Kovacevic is a Serbian-born, Berlin based fashion designer working under the label SADAK. He is currently graduating from the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin with his latest collection ‚I’m a good socialist’. He also designs costumes for theater, contemporary dance productions, and films.

Sasa Kovacevic, I’m a good socialist (2010)
Photo: Sasa Kovacevic, I’m a good socialist (2010)


Glöggt er gests augað
(The eye of the visitor sees more clearly)

Since 1990, Wolfgang Müller’s growing fascination with Iceland has led him to projects such as founding the first private Goethe Institute in the world, later renamed “Walther von Goethe Foundation Reykjavík,” after its Icelandic branch closed down in 1998.

For an exhibition at the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden in 2000, the artist conceived and produced the video Ósynilegur – Huldamanna saga & Die ungleichen Kinder Evas (Invisible – Saga of the Invisible People & The unequal children of Eve). The work consists of an 1843 Brothers Grimm fairy tale interpreted in Icelandic and German sign languages. The two versions come out as comparable yet quite different. Müller plays with these connections and contradictions to uncover new constellations of who is the “included,” and who is not.

Wolfgang Müller, founder of Die Tödliche Doris, is a German artist, musician and writer, based in Berlin, Germany and Reykjavík, Iceland. Müller’s interest in Iceland and its culture has been documented in several art projects since 1988, as was his focus on the hearing impaired. In 2009, he published Séance Vocibus Avium, a record with reconstructed sounds of 11 extinct birds bundled with a 40-page book, for which he was awarded the Karl Sczuka-Preis.

Wolfgang Müller  Ósynilegur - Huldamanna saga & Die ungleichen Kinder Evas
Photo: Wolfgang Müller “Ósynilegur – Huldamanna saga & Die ungleichen Kinder Evas”


Ladies and gentlemen,
I’ve summoned all of you here because I have every reason to believe that one of you is a murderer…
One of you present here in this room is pretending to be someone or something that he or she is not.
Take a good look around you.
I want you all to think hard and tell me if you’ve noticed anyone acting in an unusual or suspicious manner.

    Ming Wong, Whodunnit? (2003/2004)
    Video projection
    32 min. loop

In Whodunnit? (2003/2004) Ming Wong stages a quintessentially English Agatha Christie style murder mystery. Produced while the artist was living and working in the UK, the actors were cast according to the ethnic minority categories found on the Equal Opportunities monitoring form for Arts Council of England funding applications. Dressed in classic English attire, the actors, who are second or third generation British actors of Black African, Black Afro-Caribbean, Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Greek Cypriot, Eastern European Jewish and Irish descent, perform the dialogue by using their own constructed versions of foreign accents as well as ‘classic’ RP (Received Pronunciation). The drama unfolds with perpetually shifting and interchanging accents, the real mystery of the piece being not the identity of the murderer, but the true identity of the characters.

Ming Wong is an artist exploring the performative veneers of language and identity, through his own ‘world cinema.’ He lives and works in Berlin & Singapore. Last year he was awarded a Special Mention from the 53rd Venice Biennale Jury for his work Life of Imitation in the Singapore Pavilion.

 Ming Wong  “Whodunnit?” 2
Photo: Ming Wong “Whodunnit?”

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