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Teufelsberg Spy Station Berlin – Brendan Jamison

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Exhibition:

September 06 – 28, 2013

Monday – Saturday, from 19:00

 

Vernissage:

September, Thursday 05, 19:00

 

Northern Irish artist Brendan Jamison has been working on a year-long project based on the Teufelsberg Field Station Berlin, a secret spy station built during the Cold War era. It is located in the Grunewald Forest at the peak of Teufelsberg (translated as Devil's Mountain), an artificial hill built from the rubble of the bombed buildings of the Second World War.

Field Station Berlin was built by the American National Security Agency and shared with British Intelligence. With temporary mobile units in place since 1960, it was not until 1963 when permanent structures began to appear on the hill top. However, the 'architecture of espionage' was forever evolving. The field station expanded rapidly between 1963-1977. In the beginning there were no radomes, by 1977, there were 5.

In 1992, the intelligence community vacated Teufelsberg following the end of the Cold War after the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 25 December 1991. However, the work undertaken there remains classified. From the outset the field station was clouded in secrecy. Over the years, some of these mysteries have been revealed, whilst others have become mixed with myth and imagination.

With 2013 marking the 50th anniversary of the permanent base at Teufelsberg, Jamison will present a solo exhibition at Berlin's WerkStadt in September 2013. Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, the show features drawing, collage, sculpture, and photography. It also include over 30 'intelligence reports' that Jamison has created through detailed analysis of the spy station with regular field trips to the site and through correspondence with former spies who worked at the field station.

Part of the exhibition features special collaborations between Jamison and artists he has invited to respond to the field station, notably Sean Miller, Ciaran Magill and a veteran of the field station, code-named T.H.E. Hill. The project has been funded by the British Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

For further information please visit

 

www.brendanjamison.com

 

 

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Calling it a "secret" spy station would be a little over dramatic. Everyone knew it (even I did as a 6 year old living in West Berlin during our stint in 1980). My dad would take me and my brother up there for the view and watching the remote control gliders.

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I was up there today as it was included in the Tag des offenen Denkmals.

 

Unfortunately, I turned up at around 11.30 when the next available guided tour was 14.00 - self-exploration was forbidden. The denizens of the site didn't exactly look like they would accept much nonsense, too!

 

Anyway, couldn't be bothered waiting that long, so set off on a little cycle tour of the Grunewald.

 

Imagine my surprise when turning a corner on the bank of the Teufelsee to be surrounded by around a hundred naked Germans lounging on the grass...

 

Needless to say, I kept a stiff upper lip and pedalled on!

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