On most days, the S-bahn proves a viable way to get down to Treptower Park.  So long as it’s a day when BVG construction workers haven’t found an old WWII bomb buried in the depths of Friedrichshain rubble.  This happened to be the case, when our interview with dOP was meant to take place.  Upon walking onto the street from the train station and suddenly encountering masses of 20-something year old cops, reinforced by their armoured vans and street blockades, it was fairly clear that something was awry.  They told us the area had been sectioned off due to a bomb threat. Attempts at leveling with the men in green to let us back through to the train station on top of phoning or hailing a cab repeatedly failed.

To walk around the perimeter of the quarantined section would’ve conceivably taken days, so it appeared that our only option was to jump on any other public transportation that was around.   A tram came through and dropped us off close to Warschauerstraße. Yes, in quite the opposite direction of where we were headed.  Trekking up to Frankfurter Tor, taking turns with the cumbersome 10 kilo tripod, we watched traffic pile up on the streets and mused about our calamitous situation.  We crossed our fingers and hopped on the U5 which took us to Frankfurter Allee, and from there it would be two stations, back to Treptower Park.  An hour or so later, we were back to where we started, knowing full well that this time, a different plan of action had to be hatched.  We slithered through probably forbidden zones and ended up on Elsenstraße, only to be met by more police barricades.  A mere 600 meters from our boys, this was no time to give up.  Adeptly, we opted to go through the park and cross the bridge over the river to get to Alt Stralau 70.  More cops awaited, chatting amongst themselves on the other side of the bridge so we ignored them and at long last arrived on the doorstep of Wilde Renate.  I could’ve almost pissed my pants from excitation.

Clement informed us he wouldn’t be able to come down to let us in, as he wasn’t supposed to be on the premises at all.  Cops had long evacuated everyone within the bomb perimeter.  Still, we just couldn’t surrender now.  We walked to the side of the building where we were greeted by more police who I ultimately coaxed into letting us into the building, on account of me being an employee, but of course.  Finally, it seemed the terror show was over.  But, once upstairs, Clement told us that Damien had grown tired of waiting for us and had gone out for some food.  As we spoke, he was most likely attempting similar ninja moves as the three of us.

In the end, Damien managed enough somersaults, back handstands, and wall scaling (with the aid of some nun chucks and steel throwing stars) to evade the omnipresent Polizei and finally get to us in the thick of our Pisco-fueled tête-è-tête.  We talk about names, real and made-up, danger.ous.penises, substances, and the various outlets for creation.

Text: Yasmin Martinelli | Film + Photography: Saty + Pratha |


NAN GOLDIN - Berlin Work 1984 - 2009

CORY ARCANGEL - Here Comes Everybody

STEPHEN SHORE - Uncommon Places


Graham Caldwell



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