Die Tödliche Doris

Die Tödliche Doris (1980–87) emerged in equal measure from the punk movement and the Hochschule der Künste in West Berlin. As a group, the artists’ collective created conceptual art using a range of media, including music, performance, video, painting, found objects, and literature. In particular, they often questioned habits of seeing and hearing. The art students Wolfgang Müller and Nikolaus Utermöhlen were the founding members. Tabea Blumenschein and Chris Dreier were the first additional members who joined. Later members include Dagmar Dimitroff, Max Müller, Elke Käthe Kruse, Gunter Trube, David Steeves, and Hermoine Zittlau.

The group released numerous cassette tapes and LPs, including one “invisible” record. It is the result of the LPs sechs and Unser Debut being played simultaneously. The lyrics and music are perfectly coordinated and become woven together. Die Tödliche Doris also performed with deaf people and hired entertainers through the German employment office’s placement service for performing artists to play live accompaniment to noise tapes.

One of Die Tödliche Doris’s most important visual works is a series started in 1979, titled Material für die Nachkriegszeit. It is made up of hundreds of discarded, often torn, pictures from passport photo booths, which they reconstructed and assembled like a puzzle. They created an accompanying super 8 mm film by the same name, which was shown for the first time at the Paris Biennale in 1981. As a variation on the subject matter, 1983 saw the release of the film Der Fotomatonreparateur, in which discarded test pictures, as made by the technician responsible for repairing the photo booth, were filmed. Both films thus beat the film Amélie to certain central motifs.

In mid-1984, Die Tödliche Doris released Chöre und Soli, a green box containing eight tiny records, a battery-powered playback device, and an accompanying book. The box was an edition brought out under Ursula Block’s “Gelbe Musik ” and is considered to be the first musical artist’s multiple.

When the group dissolved in 1987, Die Tödliche Doris was internationally renowned. Exhibitions, film screenings, and concerts took place in numerous cities in Germany and around the world, including New York, Amsterdam, Brussels, Basel, Helsinki, Budapest, Warsaw, Vienna, Paris, Bordeaux, and Tokyo. Die Tödliche Doris took part in documenta 8 in Kassel. The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, as well as many other museums worldwide invited the group to perform and show their films.

The group’s super 8 mm films are in the collections of, among others, the Hamburger Bahnhof, Moritzburg Art Museum, and the Hannover Sprengel Museum. The original reels are stored at the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin. Galerie K' manages the film rights and houses a complete archive of Die Tödliche Doris’s work.

Works

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Archiv der Tödlichen Doris

CV

Tödlichen Doris Writtings

Die Gesamtheit allen Lebens und alles Darüberhinausgehende | 1987 | Verlag Georg Büchner Buchhandlung

Volume 1 | Vorträge, Memoiren, Essays, Hörspiel, Postwurfsendungen, Stücke, Flugblatt, Dichtung | 1991 | Verlag Martin Schmitz, Kassel

Weißer Burgunder aus Schweigen | 1993 | Verlag Martin Schmitz, Kassel

Volume 2 | Musik | 1999 | Verlag Martin Schmitz, Berlin

Volume 3 | Kunst | 1999 | Verlag Martin Schmitz, Berlin

Volume 4 | Kino | 2004 | Verlag Martin Schmitz, Berlin

Volume 5 | Performance | 2017 | Hybriden Verlag, Berlin

Volume 6 | Ephemera (in preparation)

Volume 7 | Kostüme | 2018 | Hybriden Verlag, Berlin

Volume 8 | Theater | 2019 | Hybriden Verlag, Berlin

Volume 9 | Werkverzeichnis | 2020 | Galerie K', Bremen

Collections

Museum Moritzburg, Halle

Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

Sprengel Museum, Hannover

Schwules Museum, Berlin

Sammlung Julia und Mario von Kelterborn, Frankfurt am Main

Kunsthalle Hamburg

Hochschule für Design Kobe, Japan

Studienzentrum für Künstlerpublikationen/Weserburg - Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen

Discography

Der siebenköpfige Informator | 1980 | MC | Die Tödliche Doris

Das typische Ding | 1981 | MC | Das Cassetten Combinat

Tabea und Doris dürfen doch wohl noch Apache tanzen | 1981 | MC | Das Casetten Combinat

Ohne Titel |1981 | LP | Zickzack

Die Tödliche Doris | 1982 | LP | Zickzack

Chöre & Soli | 1983 | 8 x 4" | Gelbe Musik

Die Über-Doris | 1985 | MC | Die Tödliche Doris

Naturkatastrophen | 1984 | 7" | Gelbe Musik

Unser Debut | 1985 | LP | Ata Tak

Live im SO 36 19.11.1982 | 1986 | MC | Die Tödliche Doris

Chöre & Soli Live im Delphi-Palast | 1986 | MC | Die Tödliche Doris

Sechs | 1986 | LP | Ata Tak

Live Playbacks | 1986 | LP | Reinhard Wilhelmi

Kinderringelreihen für Wahren Toren des Grals | 2002 | CD | Psychodelic Pig

Stigfinnareträffande II / Zwei Herzen | 2004 | 7 " | Vinyl-on-demand

Fallersleben | 2004 | EP | Vinyl-on-demand

Welten - Worlds - Ohontsa'shón:'a Morphologische Modemusik | 2005 | LP | Vinyl-on-demand

Musiken | 2009 | 2 x 7" | Squoodge Records

Stop (der Information) - Unvollendete Version 1983 | 2013 | EP | Squoodge Records

Sprechpause | 2017 | LP | Fang Bomb

Reenactment (I) | 2019 | LP + Druckmappe | Major Label

Filmography

Sabine – aus meinem Tagebuch | 10 min. | 1980

Material für die Nachkriegszeit | 25 min. | 2. dramatisierte und gekürzte Fassung | 9 min. | beide 1981

Das Leben des Sid Vicious | 12 min. | 1981

Energiebeutel und Zeitblase“, 12 min. | 1981

Fliegt schnell laut summend | 10 min. | 1981

Niemand sieht die Blindschleiche | 3 min | 1981

Das Graupelbeerhuhn | 20 min. | 1982

Berliner Küchenmusik | 5 min. | 1982

Textfilm | 3,5 min. | 1983

Die Tödliche Doris live auf Helgoland, 23. Juli 1983 | 6 min. | 1983

Blumen am Grab des Vaters | 12 min. | 1983

Der Fotomatonreparateur | 2 min. | 1983 

LIVE | 2,5 min. | 1983

Wasserballet | 3 min. | 1984

Tapete | 23 min. | 1984

Mädchenherzen | 3 min. | 1984

Kulisse | 60 min. | 1984

Tanz 2 | 0,5 min. | 1984

Zwei Witwen | 2,5 min. | 1984

Die Tödliche Doris | 9 min. | 1984

Zoom | 2,5 min. | 1985

Die unsichtbare 5. LP materialisiert als Super-8-Film“ | 3 min. | 1985

Städte | 105 min. | 1987 

Unbefleckte Empfängnis | 1 min. | 1986 

Die Gesamtheit allen Lebens und alles Darüberhinausgehende | 1,83 Sekunden |1987

Eine Frau zur selben Zeit an einem anderen Ort | 9 min. | 1987