Sunday, August 19, 2007

Logo #29: Die Tödliche Doris

An enigmatic emblem designed in 1980 by Die Tödliche Doris - or, The Deadly Doris, as she is sometimes known. This Berlin collective of multimedia and conceptual artists, led by Wolfgang Müller, in April 1983 released the proto-turntablist "Chöre & Soli (Choirs & Solos)," a work for records in laughing boxes. Among their many conceptual pieces is the recent "Gehörlose Musik" DVD, with all 13 tracks of their debut LP interpreted entirely as sign language live at the Berlin Volksbühne (about which they received word from German music publishers GEMA stating that there are no royalties for compositions based exclusively on sign language). About this logo, Müller recalls: "When we opened a bank account for our band in 1980, we noticed the logo of the Sparkasse Bank and decided to use it as a band logo, but inverted. We called this "Die Umkehrung der Werte" (The inversion of values / securities / assets). The original designer of the logo is Otl Aicher, who revived the Sparkassen logo in 1971. Aicher was responsible for the typical new (West) German design of the post-war era. He created logos for Lufthansa, the 1972 Münich Olympics, Dresdner Bank and many other famous logos. As a young boy, he refused to go to the HJ (Hitler Youth) and therefore didn't get his high school diploma. He hid for several months, from the beginning of 1945, because he didn't want to be a soldier fighting in Hitler's "Endkampf". After the war, Aicher was married to Inge Scholl, sister of the executed Sophie Scholl (who helped lead The White Rose, a German war resistance movement). We received a promotional postcard from Sparkasse showing an unknown rock trio (just a fake band, created probably just for the photo-shoot). So, we hid the original logo, painted the mirror-inverted Sparkassen symbol and put the letters "Die Tödliche Doris" on this card. This was our first autogramm (and was exhibited in Kunstraum Kreuzberg, 1999). The inversion of values and securities and assets relates to the German word "Werte" which means, in the German language, material and also immaterial values and securities and assets."

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