2 or 3 Attempts To Be Lonely With Kalle

2-Channel Video/Installation; HDV, Colour, 11 mins

Singer-songwriter, punk and dissident Kalle Winkler (1960-1994) was the driving force behind a group of young (East) Berliners who appropriated the border watchtower at Schlesischer Busch in Berlin Treptow in 1990, and redesignated it as “The Museum of  Forbidden Art”. With the exhibition “Avantgarde und Mahnmal zugleich sein” (Being Avant-garde and Memorial at Once) Flutgraben e.V. brings the post-89 history of the border tower into focus, thus making accessible and archiving the emergence and background of its own ongoing artistic and theoretical engagement with the site. Alongside my own video piece, the exhibition contained a collection of materials about the post-89 history of the tower put together by Christine Brecht.

Prior to the exhibition, I spent a number of days in the tower, in seclusion from the outside world, only bringing some of Kalle Winkler’s writings, a few photos of his and minimal props with me. A video camera documents my attempts to reconnect with Kalle in the tower – which had become the centre of his activities during his final years. It is a process during which I am perpetually being pushed upon the painful disjuncture between the promise of the socialist project and its East German reality that pervades Kalle’s biography and family history. A series of gestures work through – or, possibly, simply act out – the ongoing encounter with this chasm, as I try to inhabit Kalle’s story in a way that nonetheless remains loyal to his persistent, urgent belief in such a promise throughout his life.

The video was developed as a site-specific installation for the project “Avantgarde und Mahnmal zugleich sein” (“Being Avant-garde and Memorial at Once”), April 29th to 14th June 2011, Grenzwachturm Schlesischer Busch, Berlin Treptow (A project of Flutgraben e.V. in cooperation with Grenzläufte e.V., Concept and Realisation: Christine Brecht and Elske Rosenfeld. With financial support by Kulturamt Treptow-Köpenick)