About the project

Various & Gould: „City Skins – Marx und Engels“

City Skins

“City Skins – Marx and Engels” is a project by artist duo Various & Gould as part of the international competition “Art in the Underground – The Middle in Nowhere” (in German: “Kunst im Untergrund – Mitte in der Pampa”). The competition is run by the art society “neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (nGbK)“.


Monuments are projection screens of collective memory and witnesses of a time period. They reflect history, zeitgeist and models of a political system. In their current project, Various & Gould address this topic, questioning the multiple meanings and ascriptions of public cultural artifacts and the general approach to monuments nowadays.

In an urban intervention, the artist duo creates a papier-mâché cast of the Marx-Engels monument designed by Ludwig Engelhardt during GDR times (1986) and located in the vicinity of the Rotes Rathaus (town hall). The resulting paper sculpture is called “City Skins”.

The Marx-Engels monument serves as a remnant of another epoch, which although is still visible after the political upheaval of the reunification and even a popular tourist attraction but whose future is uncertain in the wake of the ongoing construction works in this area. The painted and silkscreen printed paper mould shall temporarily provide the figures with a new visual appearance being used as a public communication platform gaining center stage again.

Following this, the “City Skin” will be literally transported from “Mitte” to the “Pampa” (from the centre to the periphery) and after a ceremonious inauguration on May 20th at 3.30 pm presented on Place Internationale near Cottbusser Platz in Berlin-Hellersdorf until May 28th.


We would like to cordially invite you to the ceremonial unveiling of our temporary installation “City Skins – Marx and Engels” on the green land at the station Cottbusser Platz in Berlin-Hellersdorf on May 20th at 3:30 pm. We are looking forward to your visit and the opening speech of Jan Kage (Schau Fenster), a paper by Annika Hirsekorn (neurotitan) recited by Chérie, and the following musical performance: Dörty Messer & Seeräuber Jensus (BDM – Band Deutscher Mädels) sing „Wovon lebt der Mensch?“ (Brecht/Weill).

Inauguration: Saturday May 20th 2017, 3:30 pm
Place Internationale
U5 Cottbusser Platz, 12619 Berlin-Hellersdorf
(Exit: Carola-Neher-Str. / Auerbacher Ring)
On the map: https://goo.gl/maps/fnuqufbFDjN2
Speech: Jan Kage; Paper: Annika Hirsekorn
Duration of installation: May 20th to May 28th 2017

Followed by the lecture “Marx-Engels-Forum – JA!” by Erik Göngrich in the nearby station urbaner kulturen and the opening of the accompanying exhibition, also featuring the photographic documentation of City Skins.

Lecture by Erik Göngrich: Saturday May 20th 2017, 5 pm
station urbaner kulturen
Auerbacher Ring 41, 12619 Berlin-Hellersdorf
(entrance Kastanienboulevard next to Lebenshilfe)
On view until June 24th 2017


Various & Gould would particularly like to thank Britt Janina Heinker for supporting the project! Also many thanks to Annika Hirsekorn, Jan Kage, Frederic Leitzke, Boris Niehaus, Cherie, PC, Dörte, Jens, Elisabeth von Ketelhodt, Garvin Nolte, Tanja Pabelick, Malte Klein-Luyten, Sonja Rentsch, Bob and Amrita Ronniger! And thanks a lot to Francois Domain, Claudia and all the other Spring Academy students from Berlin Art Institute!