CATCH 22 – DAMNED IF I DO, DAMNED IF I DON’T

MATERIALISATION 2.2.1.
mixed media installation, 2008 at CHB/ BHC, Berlin

The Heavy Archive      The Stage - Installation View

The Heavy Archive The Stage – Installation View

Etymology:
from Catch-22, paradoxical rule in the novel Catch-22 (1961) by Joseph Heller, Date: 1971
1 : a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule ; also : the circumstance or rule that denies a solution
2 a : an illogical, unreasonable, or senseless situation b : a measure or policy whose effect is the opposite of what was intended c : a situation presenting two equally undesirable alternatives
3 : a hidden difficulty or means of entrapment : catch

Merriam Webster Online Dictionary

Catch 22 is the reprise of the work that was arranged for „Wait and Seek“ in a different setting with a bit of a twist. It was configured for a one week show celebrating the opening of a new party/art space at the former space of the the Hungarian cultural institute in Berlin (east) which particulary during the last years of the GDR provided a meeting space for people with different opinions. The installation plays on the meaning of the title and invokes the novel which, among other things can be viewed as a general critique of bureaucratic operation and reasoning crushing the individual with absurdity.
The heavy furniture with its own set of characteristics and associations that are brought along with its materiality and style is positioned in the large empty hall (with a specific architecture). The installation gives of the atmosphere of a spaceship that is to heavy to fly. All elements from the previous set up are assembled: the archive, the inventory, the operating desk, even the mice. A shelf element floating in the air is aimlessly propelled by a ventilator. In the background a wardrobe revolves around itself revealing the space of the adjacent video installation. The small red bike lights attached to different parts of the furniture blink like the warning lights of skyscrapers for airtraffic. There is all this motion that does not lead to anywhere specific. Traces of a research activity are left. The story is still told. Yet what prevails is a sense of abandonment. The melancholic archive.

The episode comes to a close with the selling out of the furniture and the return of the Zonographic Society to a mobile unit and to one of mere potentiality.

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