|WEBER / MCLOVLA|
Berlin Wall 1961-1989
chewing gum, nail 24 carat gold leaf plated , velvet,
brass plate and acrylic glass on a pedestal
155cm x 25cm x 23cm
Regular announcements by the West Berlin police to “Immediately stop taking the Wall apart” had little effect. The souvenir collectors and dealers were particularly interested in the painted parts of the Wall. At the height of the Wall Woodpecker activity, the Wall was even repainted at night by unknown persons. The Wall pieces that had been newly colored had practically no historical value. And whether painted or not, the authenticity of Wall pieces is often questionable, even if they are certified as genuine, since the Certificates of Authenticity are often created by the dealers. However, that is of little concern for many collectors and tourists.
The phenomenon of “Mauerspechte” or Wall Woodpeckers developed immediately following the opening of the border [between East and West Germany], the euphoric celebration in Berlin on the night from the 9th to the 10th of November, 1989, and the subsequent, exceptional national circumstances in Germany’s history.
Lots of people began to work on, and dismantle, the Berlin Wall. Each had their own particular motivation. There were many hunting for souvenirs, professional dealers, or people who for political reasons wanted to take part in the party-like atmosphere of tearing down the Wall (symbolically as quickly as possible) especially in the areas of Potsdamer Platz and Checkpoint Charlie.
This was the catalyst for Robert Weber and McLovla’s work. Using the example of a group of Wall Woodpecker from Washington overtaken by gold fever who traveled to Berlin and then immediately upon returning home offered their valuable “nuggets” for sale on the Internet,
the two artists confront the commercialism, trivialization and reproduction of the Berlin Wall, a former instrument of repression. The presentation of these artifacts recalls in particular the veneration and circulation of religious relics and draws clear parallels to their imitation and trade. Central to the exhibits is a piece of the Wall resting sovereignly on a pedestal in a glass case – but it can clearly be identified as an obvious fake.