Kunst im Untergrund 2019: Up in Arms Art in the Underground 2019: Up in Arms

15 September–31 December 2019

Event Series

Platz der Luftbrücke, 12101 Berlin
Underground station Fehrbelliner Platz (U7)
Underground station Kottbusser Tor (U8)
Underground station Paradestraße (U6)
Underground station Platz der Luftbrücke (U6)
Underground station Stadtmitte (U6)
Various venues in Berlin



Alexis Dworsky, Josefine Günschel, Stephanie Hanna, Miro Kaygalak, Beatrice Schuett Moumdjian

Project group

Ayşe Güngör, Cassandra Mehlhorn, Gabriela Seith, Amalie Sølling-Jørgensen, Johanna Werner


Naomi Hennig

14, 15, 27 September 2019 (more information below)
Alexis Dworsky »Fitte Kadenz«

20 September - October 2019

Billboards behind the tracks in the U7 Fehrbelliner Platz underground station
(20 September – 21 October 2019)
Billboards behind the tracks in the U8 Kottbusser Tor underground station
(1 – 31 October 2019)

15 September - 15 November 2019
Stephanie Hanna »Worauf basiert Frieden? [What is peace based on?]«

Platz der Luftbrücke, Tempelhof Airport main entrance

15 September - end of December 2019
Miro Kaygalak »Dual-Use«

Billboards behind the tracks in the U6 Paradestraße and Platz
der Luftbrücke underground stations

Billboards behind the tracks U6 Stadtmitte underground station

2019 has seen a striking increase in German arms exports. Berlin might no longer be a key location for weapons production, but it still plays a central role in the arms trade. The groundwork for the political decisions that regulate arms production and exports is done in Berlin. The largest arms manufacturers and organisations base themselves in the capital and represent their interests in its political antechamber. The physical proximity between lobbying and politics is overlooked by many and tourists photographing the Brandenburg Gate are unaware that the premises of major arms manufacturers are also in their picture.

Under the title of »Up in Arms«, the »Art in the Underground 2019« competition will undertake a critical examination of the arms industry. The selected artists will intervene with works in public space which will mark exact locations of historical and current importance for arms trade. The economic and political structures and repercussions of the trade will be revealed. As more than mere markers, the artworks will invite critical reflection and will call for protest.

Parallel, a series of guided tours through the city will be offered in collaboration with the association LobbyControl. They provide a further form of examination in which close links between the arms industry, its lobby, politics, everyday life and the art world become legible. A website will offer further information and research on the main Berlin-based players in this field and will list their locations on a city map.

Alexis Dworsky »Fitte Kadenz«
in collaboration with Cajus Heinzmann
A group of joggers is running in drill through Berlin. As they run, they repeat a cadence chant sung by their ›drill instructor‹, a freestyle hip-hopper. »Fitte Kadenz« is a performative choreography in public space, focusing on covert militarism in our everyday culture and the activities of the arms industry in Berlin. Three runs through Mitte, Kreuzberg and Tempelhof will pass arms companies’ premises, sites of former arms production and offices of arms-critical organisations.

14 September 2019 from 16:30
Starting and ending at: Platz der Luftbrücke, Tempelhof Airport main entrance
15 September 2019 from 16:30
Starting and ending at: The entrance to U6 Stadtmitte underground station, opposite Friedrichstraße 60
27 September 2019 from 17:30
Starting and ending at: Kunstquartier Bethanien, Mariannenplatz 2

How does insuring one person correlate to pointing a gun at another? Few customers of large German insurance companies know that their payments may well be used as investments in the bonds and shares of arms manufacturers. Using the artistic-activist strategy of adbusting, Josefine Günschel reveals connections between everyday life and the arms industry in the case of two Berlin-based companies.

Stephanie Hanna »Worauf basiert Frieden? [What is peace based on?]«
The global arms race is often justified for peacekeeping reasons, yet the opposite is the case: the sheer existence of weapons is a threat of violence in itself and is a form of structural violence. Stephanie Hanna’s floor poster refers to a Persian carpet or an Afghan war carpet. Its central question »What is peace based on?« is translated into numerous languages and spun into a delicate pattern whose underlying motifs can only be recognized as weapon illustrations at a second glance.

Miro Kaygalak »Dual-Use«
This work deals with the use of products for civil as well as military purposes. Two posters show a labeled apple and play with its ›dual‹ use: while companies in Germany use laser-labeled fruit as an advertising vehicle for their products the apple has very different symbolic power in connection with events in northern Iraq in 1988. The poison gas used against Kurdish people by Saddam Hussein smelled of apples. This event is inscribed in the collective memory of the victims. The artist now juxtaposes one of the 5.000 victims names with the name of a company that was instrumental in the manufacture and delivery of equipment used in Iraq for the production of poison gas.

Beatrice Schuett Moumdjian
»Forensic Excavations Inventory or The Total Deconstruction of an Armenian Family«

Beatrice Schuett Moumdjian‘s collage-type poster series deals with the role of German arms manufacturers in the context of her family‘s history and the Armenian genocide during the First World War. The artist uses the archaeological method of ›Forensic Excavations Inventory‹ to research her family biography. In doing so, she positions herself against a historicisation of the genocide and instead contextualises it in present day urban Berlin. The artwork points to the repercussions of war, to the legacy of death, flight and migration still felt several generations later.

21 September - 27 October 2019
TOURS with LobbyControl

On Saturdays and Sundays, 14:00
EN: 29 Sept. | 5, 13, 20, 26 Oct.

Financed by

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