The Upper Echelon

After a miraculous summer in Görlitzer Park, SHAKESPEARE IM PARK BERLIN was invited to participate in a weekend of art and performance at the Teufelsberg Berlin for the “Tag des offenen Denkmals” (7. – 9. September 2012). We presented a site-specific, (36-hour) durational performace entitled “The Upper Echelon” that engaged the history of the site as well as a glorious tradition of mountaineering and expedition.

On Saturday, September 8 at 12pm, the team (plus a curious public) convened at base camp in the Sandgrube-Grunewald, where, after a night of unyielding mountaineering spirit, they prepared to set forth on the last leg of their journey up the face of Teufelsberg to the perilous summit. It was a historic occasion: lectures (in multiple languages), sound installations, cook-outs, uncharted tours, devestating conversation, sherpas, shamans, philosophers, and much much more.

Brought to you by SHAKESPEARE IM PARK BERLIN in collaboration with the Telemetric Society of Numinous 2nd Empire Furnishings
Co-Directed by: Marianne Cebulla
Costumes by: Rute Chaves

Advertisement for an expedition hosted by the Telemetric Society of Numinous 2nd Empire Furnishings: Are you tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote? Love to sail forbidden seas and land on barbarous coasts? Not ignoring what is good, are you quick to perceive a horror and still able to be social with it? If the answer is yes, take up your quill, sign your name in ones and zeros and let the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swing open.

What the experts have to say:

“The south face of ECHELON is something completely beyond what people have tried. Some say it’s impossible, but I wouldn’t want to just climb another mountain- even a hard mountain- which is just repeating an experience.” - Heini Klopfe

“One or two good climbers have said about this climb ‘you know it’s suicide.’ But you can’t just say I’ve climbed the Eiger, I’ve climbed the Matterhorn, Everest… and say you’re finished- it just doesn’t end there.” - Winston Siebenschuhe

“Echelon’s summit must be inaccessible, but its base accessible to human beings as nature made them. It must be unique and it must exist geographically. The door to the invisible must be visible.” - Dr. Rufus T. Firefly

“You see, we are all on the water but there is no need to build a boat because it would be burnt in an instant.” - Konrad Seeger, NSA Spokesperson

Definition of Alpinism by Father Sogol of the Society for Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing: Alpinism is the art of climbing mountains by confronting the greatest dangers with the greatest prudence. Art is used here to mean the accomplishment of knowledge in action. You cannot always stay on the summits. You have to come down again… So what’s the point? Only this: what is above knows what is below, what is below does not know what is above. While climbing, take note of all the difficulties along your path. During the descent, you will no longer see them, but you will know that they are there if you have observed carefully. There is an art to finding your way in the lower regions by the memory of what you have seen when you were higher up. When you can no longer see, you can at least still know. . .