PRESS / Süddeutsche Zeitung

The Süddeutsche Zeitung is the New York Times of Germany. Commentary and translation below is excerpted from the "Legalize It!?" conference catalog on Scott Holmquist's "Die dritte Mauer und der letzte Held," (The third Wall and last Hero) installation, Kreuzberg Museum, Berlin, April – June 2014.
"Well known writer Lothar Müller’s article “Die dritte Mauer” brings to life bigotries that are among the exhibit’s subjects. We see birch pollen—echt deutsch—swirling on spring breezes through Kreuzberger’s “many languages,” first being the curses of a “young male Turk”. There are Russians and Spaniards and there’s an American. This most presumptuous of barbarians is lecturing others on Kreuzberg’s history. How could anyone not recognize Müller’s Kreuzberg? Uncouth foreigners speaking foreign languages on dirty streets. But how could he miss the Last Hero?! And turn around who’s walling in whom?"

The Third Wall
by Lothar Müller

Walpurgis Night [when witches and Devil carouse, April 30th] draws slowly nearer, whilst birch pollen whirs through the air and through numerous languages on its way. Not far from Kottbusser Tor, a young male Turk curses out his car window at stopped traffic, an older couple from Russia look for the entrance to the subway, Spaniards fold road maps, and an American explains the history of Kreuzberg to a small group of young compatriots. On a small, tree-shaded playground, a quiet oasis right next to the noise of Adalbertstraße, a young woman breastfeeds her child. Entirely disregarded, is a sign seeking to attract visitors to the nearby “Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum.” It is a sign with a strange inscription: “The Third Wall and the Last Hero 1968/2968.” Just in time for May 1, the Museum has opened a special exhibition by the American artist Scott Holmquist. He was born in 1961, the year of the Wall’s construction, and a little concrete dust must have blown across the Atlantic, and when he was seven years old, in 1968, revolutionary pollen from Berlin must have flown over, too. In any case, he “learned first of rebellion’s possibilities as a concrete worker in Minnesota,” then studied Marxist economics in Sweden. As a mature artist he monumentalized the insurgency of cannabis growers in Northern California against the U.S. government in the form of art books, then moved across the Atlantic and immersed himself in the revolutionary spirit of Kreuzberg. On the museum’s wall hangs the flag that he raised: the clenched fist is surrounded by cannabis buds and is called the “Cieciorka Banner” after the activist, graphic artist, landscape painter, and cannabis grower Frank Cieciorka. But this souvenir belongs to a species of parched and weak drugs. What is striking, however, is what the former concrete worker came across diving into the revolutionary spirit of Kreuzberg: the idea of the Third Wall, embedded in the vision of a millennial kingdom. The map of the districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg on the third floor of the museum, which is normally associated with an acoustic “oral history” installation, has been beamed by the concrete worker into the year 2968, on the way all street names have been effaced and the district surrounded by a red line. This “Third Wall,” we learn, is “a means of self-protection by the rest of society against the unpredictable and uncontrollable processes in this zone of self-government, where freedom exists that cannot be found anywhere else.” Undisturbed behind the Third Wall, the revolutionary self-government works to rename the deleted names of streets, monuments, memorial sites. The concrete worker from America has realized the ultimate utopia of Kreuzberg’s revolutionary soul: to be walled in, sealed off from the world, alone with itself and its own archive, ruler over all names in the Millennial Kingdom.   SZ from 02/05/2014