“Mind the Gap,” (e.) Twin Gabriel, 1999

Right in the middle of the bridge Bornholmer Brücke, at the site of what was a GDR border crossing until 1990, an unusual red chair-like piece invites viewers to take a seat. The artists (e.) Twin Gabriel call their work “Mind the Gap,” pointing out that “this is a former checkpoint, an interface between two systems, a chilblain of the Cold War.”

“The bridge, itself a symbol of transition, is temporarily provided with a piece of furniture that persuasively unites the artistic with the practical, underscoring the transitional situation through art.”

“The odd juxtaposition of the piece with its location, as well as the texts chosen and staged as conversations that recall the border situation and life in the two political systems, give this unpretentious work great significance.” (Excerpt from the comments of the jury, September 1996)

With the consent of Else Gabriel and Ullf Wrede, this piece was not put up at Oberbaumbrücke as initially conceived, but at the Bornholmer Strasse crossing. And instead of the texts originally planned, the loudspeakers built into the object repeat the word “Wahnsinn” (incredible, insane) to express the uncomprehending amazement inspired by the events of November 1989 at the time.

Else Gabriel

  • 1962: Born in Halberstadt, Ostharz
  • 1982 – 87: Hochschule für Bildende Künste (College of Fine Arts), Dresden
  • 1988 to the present: Work with Ullf Wrede
  • Lives and works in Berlin

Ullf Wrede

  • 1968: Born in Potsdam
  • 1984 – 89: Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler (Hanns Eisler College of Music), Berlin
  • 2000 to the present: Founded the company Creme to produce DVDs (videos) for artists
(e.) Twin Gabriel
  • 1991 to the present: Designates the work done jointly by E(lse) and U(llf)
  • Grants in Berlin, Los Angeles, and London
  • Many individual and group exhibitions in Germany and abroad

Kunst im Stadtraum (Art in urban spaces). 21 Kunstprojekte im Berliner Stadtraum, Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung, Kunst im Stadtraum, Berlin 2002