The Berlin Wall Costume
A symbol of both oppression and freedom, The Berlin Wall fell twenty-seven years ago in 1989, unifying East and West Berlin. Monuments and memorials draw hundreds of thousands each year to view the remains of this solemn reminder, whose message has become even more important as the Western political atmosphere echoes it's affects. This year's Halloween holiday satire was, thus, inevitable.
Built primarily out of dark grey styrofoam, my section of The Wall was held together by white glue, salvaged aluminum braces and duct tape. It weighed about eight pounds (4ish kilos), and had holes for arms and my face*.
I began with basic slabs, sawn into nine 6 cm x 24 cm x 60 cm sections.
After measuring my own chest diameter and assumed interior space requirements, I then created and reinforced the hollow monolith shell of the Wall, keeping the top and bottom open.
Later I designed the anti-tank protrusion at the back of the Wall, reinforced it with more makeshift rebar, and sanded it down to match the dimensions of the rest of the monolith.
The face and arm holes came next, carefully dug out without compromising the integrity of the fragile costume structure. I then sawed off a large chunk from the top, in order to fit through doorways during events.
From here, I measured and cut cardboard boxes into a large cylinder for the top barrier, fit and reinforced it with duct tape, then painted it black. I then drybrushed the front and the back of the Wall itself white.
Next was the hammer and the graffiti. I asked my colleagues at Studio49 to help me decorate the wall in insightful, funny, silly, political or satirical graffiti or art, and take a few swings... and they certainly did. (Yes, that is Hillarump with a Hitler moustache).
David himself sits atop the Wall, reclining nude, amongst what seem to be puppies .
The finishing touches included coat-hangar rebar for the face-hole, simulated bird poop on top of the barrier and a touch-light mounted above my head inside, to cast light inside the monolith upon my otherwise partially hidden face.
*If you were wondering, I used past tense during this post because at the end of the Halloween, I re-enacted The Fall of the Berlin Wall by getting drunk, listening to 'I've Been Looking for Freedom' by David Hasselhoff, lighting fireworks, chanting and falling over, thereby dashing The Wall to pieces and escaping.