HP Dürhager and Ralf Jesse collaborated on the painting “Der müde Tod” (“Weary Death”) in the East Side Gallery. As members of the artist group “Tabot Velud”, they also participated in an authorized spray-painting action in the Cologne underground station Appellplatz in 1990. Here and for their Wall painting, they used a stencil graffiti technique. Their original painting was extensively retouched for the Gallery’s restoration in 2009 and is now considerably darker.
“Der müde Tod” (“Weary Death”) by Dürhager and Jesse draws the viewer’s gaze into the centre of a giant spider’s web where the silhouette of a man can be seen. Scrooge McDuck is standing on the right; a figure on the left resembles a stormtrooper from the film “Star Wars”. The picture’s composition is borrowed from the Fritz Lang film of the same name. A holey German flag on the right of the picture recalls the many East German flags seen around 1989/90 that had had the central hammer-and-compasses symbol cut out.
Dürhager is a documentary filmmaker, political creative, and media educator. His films and TV features for German public broadcasters WDR and the Goethe Institute document the lives of young people and portray creative, self-confident children. His media education workshops deal with topics such as participation in democracy and (digital) self-determination. He lives in Cologne.
Jesse is a TV editor who has developed children’s programmes for WDR (including a cartoon with Jim Avignon), co-founder of Kanak TV, and director (of productions such as the long-term documentary “Die Geduldeten” for WDR/Arte). During the RUHR.2010 European City of Culture programme in 2010 he was responsible for the exhibition “Blackbox Abschiebung” with and about people deported from Germany.
Idea from HP Dürhager und Ralf Jesse for the East Side Gallery: https://vimeo.com/753578718