Berlin #2 — The temple
Once there stood a wall in Berlin, both symbolically and physically separating inhabitants in to two distinctive camps where families got isolated, friendships got shattered and opinions got polarized. Such situations are rich in lies and various means of deception, where both sides of the table are creating their own versions of the story, thus a question arises: how an individual should orient oneself while being trapped in such a maze of cognitive disrupt?
Art. It is able to radiate with light within seemingly endless darkness, shining via multiple layers of symbols and metaphors. As David Walsh noticed, “Art has established itself as an authority answerable to no one but itself”, thus it has a unique capacity to distant itself from mass agenda, hence being able to speak truthfully. “Culture is, like cult, a revelation. Artists are its seekers.”, but what does one need to succeed in this pursuit? A medium. Once there is a huge blank concrete wall, it suddenly becomes a canvas for visionary expression of what bubbles within the subconscious of society. And once there is a huge complex of walls, located within an abandoned spy station on a 120 meters high man-made hill, it becomes a temple for both artistic activism, and remarkable imaginative qualities of human consciousness in general.
Teufelsberg used to be a center for US NSA activities from 1963 to 1989, a place from which Americans did their best at catching and intercepting various transmissions from East block. Once the Berlin wall fell, equipment from this facility was removed and these huge domes were left unattended, what attracted the attention of various nosy visitors. The word spread around rapidly, thus creative people quickly started using this complex for various artistic experiments. As symbolical as it is, Teufelsberg currently holds the highest concentration of various anti-globalist, anti-capitalist and anti-war messages you can find anywhere in the Europe. It’s an open gallery where every inch is completely covered with remarkable pieces of urban art from the best international urban artists.
What once was a machine perpetuating the cold war paranoia, a symbol for deception and war, now became a temple for creative opposition, anarchy and imagination.
There is no such place anywhere in the world, because the oppositional power it is famous for comes both from the symbolical value of Teufelsberg, and from the history of Berlin itself. Artistic activism — the urge to creatively express what nobody dares to talk about, thus inviting the spectator for dialogue and discussion — is deeply rooted here. Growing from the urge to oppose your subordinate position, Berlin’s history fueled a completely organic development of such visionary resistance.
Hence Edward’s fingers started to act themselves, channeling the creative force Teufelsberg holds.
A social critique, filled with meaning within multiple levels — from symbolical to philosophical — appeared on the walls. Post-modern western civilization imposes outstandingly polarized thoughts: on one hand, current technological state provides humanity with utopian capabilities to achieve such feats of both cultural and scientific success that it’s impossible to comprehend their results; while on the other, it provides a great potential for dangerous abuse and misuse, where brilliantly powerful tools start acting against their creators.
Once civilization overcame biological dangers, a cognitive plague took place.
What is coming next remains an open question. Edward’s mission is to reveal and to rise a discussion rather than provide a clear solution. He feels that his Berlin quest is finished, thus clouds from sky disappear in vapor and he explodes into the void, where knowledge he managed to gather is going to crystallize into symbolic shapes for future manifestations.
Meanwhile, a company of Estonian travelers decided to stay here more, hoping that there’s going to be a chance to meet Banksy somewhere around.