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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2012  /  August 2012  /  Landscape Fährt in the Berlin UBahn

Landscape Fährt in the Berlin UBahn

Sam Merrill’s collaborative artwork goes on display in the Berlin UBahn

Landscape Fährt in the Berlin UBahn

A series of landscape representations produced by Sam Merrill in collaboration with Hans Hack, an artist and heritage practitioner from Berlin, have gone on public display at the Schilling Strasse UBahn station.

The work is based on technical drawing discovered by Sam during archive research in Berlin. These are blended with the contemporary network map to reformulate and reveal the visual landscape of the Berlin UBahn from a unique and, until now, unseen perspective. It displays the 1932 network as a layered archaeological landscape, communicated through the design language of the city’s network map. The map’s line and interchange station names and symbols, along with the well-known colours that have become familiar to passengers, are used to strengthen the position of the 1930s network in the contemporary collective memory.

The work will be displayed as part of the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst e.v.’s (NGBK – the New Society for Visual Arts) VORNE FAHRNE/ UP FRONT exhibition from Monday 27th August until November. NGBK, which was founded in Berlin in 1969, represents the quest for change at that time and a counter-model to homogenous art programmes with hierarchical structures and institutions. One of its long-rooted traditions is to make use of vacant advertising hoardings to provide public art installations through agreements with Berlin’s public transport organisation, BVG.

Sam has now worked with Hans on both academic and artistic projects that apply diverse methods and mediums such as archaeological survey, archive research, photography and digital design. Recently they have co-authored an article entitled “Exploring hidden narratives: Conscript graffiti at the former military base of Kummersdorf”, which will be published in the Journal of Social Archaeology in October 2012.

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The fourth of five panels cumulatively titled: Die Berliner UBahn: Ein vergrabene Landschaft// The Berlin UBahn: A Buried Landscape, © Samuel Merrill and Hans Hack 2012

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