Installation at KUNSTLABOR
The former headquarters of Tengelmann had been the ideal stage for Munich's biggest art project, KUNSTLABOR.
After the supermarket chain went bankrupt, Tengelmann pretty much left everything behind. Old office furniture, construction plans, stamps - anything neccessary for an old companies daily business was still lying around in their former storages. One room in particular intrigued me. Roughly 10000 folders in different colors and patterns contained the companies' accountings, billings and construction plans of individual shops and filled an entire storage of around 200 square meters.
The amount of time needed to fill these folders with printed content must have been insane. Photo copies of single post stamps are just one of many examples of what had been keeping Tengelmann's employees busy.
The thought of numerous people dedicating their lives to the task of documenting every single step of the company, combined with the puzzling information in these folders immediately made me feel like a protagonist in a novel by Kafka. With no possibility to understand the processes behind the facade, I was just able to gaze at the colorful backs of the folders.
I decided to multiply this feeling by creating a maze out of the storages' shelves and folders. Over the course of two weeks, I filled up an entire room with massive amounts of folders. The visitor had to hurdle through the maze in order to get to the next part of the exhibition.
To reinforce the feeling of being trapped, I intentionally chose a width of the grid, that was slightly below the usual minimum of walking courses and added shelves over the visitors' heads.
Thanks Maxi for all your help and thanks Silvie Tillard for the gorgeous photos!
The original storage
The installation seen through the visitors smart phones
Layout of the grid