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 Wolfgang Müller 2004

Wolfgang Müller is born on 24 October, 1957, in the Lower Saxony town of Wolfsburg. Today he spends most of his time in Berlin and Reykjavík.

News:  www.myspace.com/wolfgangmueller

During his high school days, he puts together a collection of his classmates' cribs.

He studies at the Faculty of Graphic Design/Visual Communications at Berlin University of the Arts between 1980 and 1985. His degree show, in 1986, is presented in the Faculty of Film Design under Professor Wolfgang Ramsbott: a performance by his group Die Tödliche Doris, founded in 1980.

In 1982, he publishes his book Geniale Dilletanten. A typing error becomes a theme for a collection of writings.

With Ueli Etter in 1986, he embarks on the Galerie Eisenbahnstrasse project, designed to last for one year, in the basement of a house on Manteuffelstrasse, Berlin.

In 1987, Wolfgang Müller dissolves Die Tödliche Doris into an Italian white wine. At the exhibition, vino tavola bianco, at Galerie Swinger in Berlin, vino da tavola bianco is both the exhibit on show and the drink served at the opening. Seven years later, Die Tödliche Doris is poured out at Galerie von Witzleben in Karlsruhe, this time in the form of a white Burgundy from Schweigen. A book documenting the dissolution process is published by Martin Schmitz Verlag.

In 1989, he releases the LP BAT, containing ultrasound recordings of indigenous bats, processed so that they were audible to human ears, and shows painted bat ocillogrammes at Galerie Martin Schmitz in Kassel.

Island: Land ohne Eisenbahn (Iceland: County without Railway)is the title of an exhibition at Galerie Swinger, resulting from Wolfgang Müller's first visit to the polar island.

In 1991, Wolfgang Müller, Nikolaus Utermöhlen and Käthe Kruse turn costumes and props from Die Tödliche Doris' shows into art objects. Underpants Lamp and a set of Dress Armchairs are exhibited at Galerie Tröster & Schlüter in Frankfurt, Galerie von Witzleben in Karlsruhe and Kunsthalle Bremen.

Wolfgang Müller produces - with an ink made of cobalt (II) chroride - over 47 sympathetic ink drawings, which are first shown at Goethe Institute in Oslo and Kunstnercenter Molde in 1997. This series of sensitive drawings, which will disappear with time, are to be found in private collections and amongst the collection of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt.

In 1994, the author Claudia Schandtin reports in die tageszeitung newspaper that Wolfgang Müller is planning to breed blue tits for Italian delicatessen shops. As a result, he makes an appearance on a famous German TV talkshow Fliege, as a victim of the media.

In collaboration with Nan Goldin, an exhibition blue tit - and henceforth begins his collection of material for the book BLUE TIT - das deutsch-isländische Blaumeisenbuch (the German-Icelandic Book About Blue Tits), published in 1998.

While researching in Iceland, Wolfgang Müller meets the Icelandic artist Úlfur Hródólfsson, who shows him that there is, in fact, railway in Iceland.

The first joint exhibition by Wolfgang Müller and Úlfur Hródólfsson, parus caeruleus, materialises in 1995 and is shown in Krakow, Hamburg, Kassel and Reykjavík.

For his work Hringur, Wolfgang Müller obtains the Bird Ring Nos. 252 451 to 252 473 from the Birds Research Institute Wilhelmshaven/Birds Watch Helgoland. These are numbers embossed on rings fitted by ornithologists on herons, shags, capercaillies and lesser white-fronted geese. The original alminium rings with these specific numbers were destroyed by the Bird Watch, and you can wear exact copies of them in Sterling silver - work by Wolfgang Müller.

Die Krise (The Crisis) is produced in 1997 and first exhibited at Galerie Andreas Schlüter in Hamburg. As of June 2001, the object is to be found in the apartment of an art collector in Naples. For the music group Stereo Total, Wolfgang Müller writes a song under the same title, which is included in their CD My Melody.

In 1997 Wolfgang Müller brings the Guided Elf Tour of Schöneberg into being. As an elf expert, he is invited to appear in many talk shows on German TV. The video, Wolfgang Müller zu Gast bei... (Wolfgang Müller as Guest on...), is a result of all this and is first shown on 11 November, 2000 at the Alter Hauptzollamt, part of Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt am Main.

That same year, a series of Elfenkongress (Elf Congresses), spread over 12 evenings, is conceived and presented, followed by another series, Wolfgang Müller's Kunst- und Meisencafe (Art and Tit Cafe), both at Volksbühne in Berlin.

In 1998, the head office of Goethe Institute decides to close its branch in Iceland. In August of the same year, Wolfgang Müller, together with Ásta Ólafsdóttir, opens the first private Goethe Institute in the world - inside the Living Art Museum, Reykjavík. The Goethe Institute head office welcomes the foundation of the new institute: "We find the project original. It's nice that someone is drawing attention to a political problem with artistic means," says Dr. Stephan Wackwitz, spokesperson for Goethe Institute, in the HNA on the 11th of August, 1998.

In March 2001, Dr. Hermann Falk from the legal department of Goethe Institute threatens with compensation claims, fines and other legal steps, should Wolfgang Müller continue to claim that he runs a private Goethe Institute.

In order to spare Goethe Institute, who are already in a tight spot, the further financial burden that a legal process against him would incur, Wolfgang Müller decides to rename his project "Walther von Goethe Foundation Reykjavík". The first branch of the foundation, named after the grandson of Goethe's, was opened on the 11th of May, 2001, with a speech by the Icelandic Ambassador, Ingimundur Sigfusson, in the hairdressors' salon BEIGE on Auguststrasse, Berlin.

He writes and produces the radio play Thrymlied (1996) for Bayerischen Rundfunk, in which he reconstructs the squawk of the extinct great auk, and the 4-part Das Echo ist der Zwerge Sprache (The Echo is Language for Dwarves) (1999), a description of a travel through Iceland on the invisible Elf Railway.

In 1998 at the Prater, part of the Berlin Volksbühne theatre, Wolfgang Müller makes a definitive presentation of the music of Die Tödliche Doris for the deaf communicty: Die Tödliche Doris sung in sign language, performed by sign language interpreters Dina Tabbert and Andrea Schulz.

For the exhibition Der (im)perfekte Mensch (The (In)Perfect Human), the German Hygene Museum in Dresden commissions Müller to conceive and produce the videos "Ósynilegur - Huldamanna saga & Die ungleichen Kinder Evas (Invisible - Saga of the Invisible People & the unequal children of Eve)" in Icelandic and German sign languages, as well as "The Deafly Doris".

During the last months of 2000, the editor of the Elfenpost (Elf Post) appears in his dream and grants him a permission to make visible one issue of her invisible newspaper. The Elfenpost, Issue No. 2,633,120 is published as part of die tageszeitung newspaper on 23 December, 2000.

The Walter von Goethe Foundation is co-organiser of the first Icelandic Cultural Festival to take place in Berlin, in April 2002. They produce the "Die große Stimmgabelshow (The Big Tuning Fork Show)" at the Berliner Festspiele Hall, as well as a daily bus tour through Berlin under the title "Icelandic Tour". The tour guide and Germanist, Jón Atlason is currently translating Goethe's work "Die Metamorphose der Pflanzen (The Metamorphosis of the Plants)" into Icelandic.

In October 2002, this first Icelandic translation will appear as a bilingual book, to form part of the Foundation's publication series. Wolfgang Müller's exhibition, "Brutblatt" (Kalanchoe pinnata) at the Living Art Museum, Reykjavík, will coincide with the publication.

An ensuing travel to Italy leads Wolfgang Müller to the place, where Goethe was searching the "Urpflanze". In the gallery "Büro Neapel" the bronce sculpture Gnocco per cinciallegre (titmouse dumpling) is presented in the exhibition "Napoli during my absence".

The gallery Dörrie * Priess, Hamburg shows in march 2003 under the title "garbage" a selection of Müllers works, created in the last twenty years. In November 2003 the CD "Mit Wittgenstein in Krisuvik" is released to the public.

In 2004 the Walther von Goethe Foundation published Hieronymus Megisers book “Neue Nordwelt” (Leipzig 1613), contains the first ever account of Icelandic travelogue written in German according to the author’s own experience, as well as the first German translation of the Zeni brothers travel to the phantom island of Frisland. In Berlin’s Podewil, calls starlings on the Norwegian Island of Hjertoya were to be heard, imitating Kurt Schwitters “Ursonata” since the Thirties.

Back from a work presentation in Buenos Aires in december 2005 Wolfgang Müller is currently compiling a Dieter Roth orchestra for the Bavarian Radio with Andreas Dorau, Khan, Namosh, Stereo Total, Mutter, Mouse on Mars, Trabant, Ghostigital and him, setting Roth’s texts into pop music.

The book "News from the Elf Front - The truth about Iceland" is published in 2007 by edition suhrkamp.An exhibition with the same title, showing objects, scultptures and dippt paintings by Wolfgang Müller is opened by the embassador of Iceland, Mr. Ólafur Davidsson in Galerie Dörrie * Priess, Berlin 5th of November.

In the following year he started with Séance Vocibus Avium. wolfgang Müller reconstructed the sounds of eleven extinct birds precisely after scientist descritptions. For Séance Vocibus Avium Wolfgang Müller got the Karl-Sczuka-Award 2009.

After that, he put his focus on Valeska Gert. She is dancing a pause in 1920.

"Valeska Gert. Ästhetik der Präsenzen" is the title of the book, which is the result of his examination. A first exhibition about the art of this artist followed. Joined forces with An Paenhuysen Wolfgang Müller curated the exhibition "Pause. Valeska Gert: Bewegte Fragmente". It runs from September 2010 to February 2010 at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin.

Together with An Paenhuysen Wolfgang Müller curates the exhibition ´Pause. Valeska Gert: Bewegte Fragmente´ at Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart Berlin 2010/11.

The Pause inspired him, to stop the biographie at this point for unknown time, to continue it in another place.


Wolfgang Müller Contact / Impressum