Envisaging L'Aquila
edited by Alessandro Coppola

Meira Ahmemulic – The Berlin Trilogy

[We are welcoming Meira Ahmemulic as professionaldreamers’ Guest Artist, with an art project inspired to Berlin. Meira is an artist based in Berlin and Gothenburg. Most of her work uses the city as point of departure. She is a collector of signs, stories, coincidences and occurrences. Walking through the city is for Ahmemulic an act of writing, the city being a language in itself, and her artistic practice can be seen as a constant dialogue with the city as place, space and phenomenon]

The Berlin Trilogy is based on the American action movie The Bourne Supremacy (2004), the second movie in the film trilogy about Jason Bourne, a former assassin for the CIA. During an unsanctioned operation for the CIA Bourne falls victim to amnesia. Throughout the movie he tries to regain his memory while revealing the conspiracy within the CIA. In the Berlin Trilogy two actors reenact scenes from The Bourne Supremacy, mainly shot in Berlin. They are corrected and trained by a former American soldier who worked as a Russian linguist at Field Station Berlin, the biggest listening post set up by the Americans in Europe during the Cold War. As the actors repeat the scenes discrepancies appear, scenes are altered, lines are confused, bombs detonate. It becomes uncertain which side they are on and what their mission is.

The Berlin Trilogy consists of three movies Avus Supremacy (2009), Training (2010), Collateral Damage (2010). It is set at four locations important for transportation, historically and in the present: AVUS, Friedrichstrasse, Zoologischer Garten and Alexanderplatz. Friedrichstrasse was a major border crossing between East and West Berlin during the Cold War, located in East Berlin it was still served by local trains from West Berlin as well as long distance trains from countries west of the Iron Curtain. Zoologischer Garten was the main transport facility in West Berlin during the division of the city. Alexanderplatz is the central underground railway station in the city, above it is a public square where the demonstration on the 4th of November 1989 was the largest in the history of East Germany. AVUS stands for Automobil-Verkehrs- und Übungsstraße GmbH, and means ”Corporation Car Transport and Practice street”. AVUS opened in 1921 as the world’s first highway, which included a nineteen kilometer race track, and became a symbol for German technology and modernity. The Nazis later used the AVUS for propaganda. The last race was held in 1998. Today the AVUS is part of the Autobahn. The former Northcurve of the racetrack is used as a parking space for trucks and buses. Recently Berlin sold the tribune on the AVUS, as the cities finances are strained and it cannot afford to maintain it. The tribune was bought by a business man who wanted to turn it into a museum for cars, but after he went bankrupt the tribune was left in a state of bad repair.

In the original movie The Bourne Supremacy directed by Paul Greengrass there are two scenes shot on the AVUS. The first one is when a Russian secret service agent and assassin, arrives to Motel AVUS after killing two men to meet his employer, a Russian oil magnate, who gives him orders to kill Jason Bourne. The second scene is with Bourne driving a stolen BMW on the AVUS on his arrival to Berlin. Bourne stops at the AVUS Motel to clean himself up after a murder. (He just strangled his former colleague and blew up his house). Bourne walks downstairs, to the men’s lavatories, washes the blood off his sleeves and takes a long look in the mirror.

At Alexanderplatz Bourne meets with his former colleague Nicki to gain information about his past. He is on the run from the CIA, who is out to kill him and cover their tracks. The meeting is a trap, CIA has snipers and agents surrounding the Alexanderplatz. In the chaos caused by a demonstration Bourne manages to get Nicki down into one of the subway tunnels to interrogate her.

One of the movies chase scenes with stunt work and gunfire takes place at two stations, Friedrichstrasse and Zoologischer Garten, edited to look like one location. In this scene Bourne is caught up by his pursuers, assisted by the Berlin police. He manages to shake them off by jumping off a bridge onto a ferry, and escapes in the last second by getting on a train to Moscow.

See also: http://www.squidproject.net/english/participants/ahmemulic-meira.htm

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