Jean-Ulrick Désert

New York. Frankfurt. Berlin. Tegel Airport, 1.November 2007.
M109 to Bahnhof Zoo and U12 to Kreuzberg, then to Neukölln.

2.November 2006, Gropiusstadt. DS in conversation with Jean-Ulrick Désert

I’ve been here all my life. My Family (my mother) as well as a large part of the original inhabitants here were relocated many years ago from the Berlin districts of Wedding and Reinickendorf. So many people knew each other before. I’ve been in my apartment here since I was twelve years old, I’ll be thirty years old this month. My family lives throughout all the different parts of Gropiusstadt. My mom and her boyfriend live very nearby and they sometimes stay over. I was raised here by my grandmother, my mom’s mother. Ten of us lived in her apartment, I’ve always been surrounded by my family. Today my cousins, my uncles and my aunts still live here as well. One of my other uncles even knew and slapped the real Christiane F. during that time when the buildings were really smelling like piss and shit like they say in the book and movie. Yeah he hit her, right in the face, because he knew the real one – not the movie version. Things are much better now and it’s not so dirty and smelly anymore. I like living with and around my family. Another of my uncles is still addicted and lives in that
direction here in Gropiusstadt. The whole situation is calmer – many areas including this one here in this photo I took shows children play areas and garden landscaping that didn’t exist before. Before it was all concrete. Now Baumarkt garden fences make it friendlier. There are many different people here now but sometimes people are still committing suicide. They fall right here on my balcony. Some of the dead are from Gropiusstadt but also other people, from other parts of Berlin come to Gropiusstadt to kill themselves, like a famous television actress did. The police always have to take the dead body through my apartment to get them off the balcony. They don’t want to use a ladder, there’s no other way. It’s really annoying.

The artist will continue his interviews with “DS” and document it in various mediums as an ongoing exploratory diary inspired by the artist in residence experience of the Pilotprojekt Gropiusstadt.

Arbeit von Jean-Ulrick Désert 2005