White Box Exhibition
Zeppelin University Edition
with Marcel Kalberer and Participants
12 | 09 – 26 | 11 | 2015
In his ongoing continuous project “Imaginary Archive“, the New York based artist Gregory Sholette shows documents, pamphlets, objects and stories which imagine alternative courses of history. The “Imaginary Archive“ is a store of material which speaks about past futures. Posters, images, books and objects document future scenarios, hopes and ideas of alternative forms of living together. It contains writings on political utopias and documents from protest movements, manifestos and plans made by urbanists. All elements have one thing in common: they draw attention to futures which will never occur.
In the approach to unfulfilled futures, a surprisingly clairvoyant view of the future is evoked. Gregory Sholette invites participants from all over the world to take part in the production of this growing “what if“ collection. Exhibited are under-represented, unknown, invisible and hoped-for historic materials, all of which draw attention to the interpretational need of past, present and future. The range of issues of the archival material is wide-ranging, from forgotten earthly inventors and fantastic national marketing campaigns to unmapped offshore islands or mysterious pirate radio stations.
As in former exhibitions in Philadelphia, Kiev and Graz, different local utopias from several archives in Friedrichshafen were integrated. The local contributions in the main came from a collaboration with the utopian of (natural) growing cities and construction artist Marcel Kalberer, who lives by the Bodensee. Along with Sholette and students of Zeppelin University, he developed the “Bambus” display for the exhibition.
A further local contribution consisted of the 1952 post-war reconstruction plans of the Friedrichshafen architect Reinhard Knall, which proposed a large overbuilding of the train tracks crossing Friedrichshafen and a giant system of bridges and ramps with the aim of creating a car-friendly city. It was called a folly by the press but for over twenty-five years the resolute architect defended his ideas and his plans even became subject matter of the local carnival.
The exhibition included material documenting the work of the sculptor, designer and university teacher Hanns Hoffmann-Lederer (1899-1970), who taught at the Bauhaus and later lived by the Bodensee, showed his work exploring the universal “harmonic“ understanding of composition. Finally the Austrian art historian and philosopher Gerald Raunig, who teaches in Zurich, wrote ten fragments on the revolutionary connection between the past and the approaching future on a kind of infinite shop sales receipt.
Prior locations of the archive:
2015 Liz Park, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
2014: Larissa Babij, Les Kurbas Center, Kyiv, Ukraine.*
2013: Margarethe Makovec & Anton Lederer <rotor> Center for Contemporary Art, Graz, Austria.
2012: Megs Morely, Tulca Art Festival/Gallery 123, Galway, Ireland.
2010: Siv B. Fjaerestad, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.
* IA Kyiv was made possible by the CEC Artslink and individual supporters.
Imaginary Archive Projekt webpage
Ulrike Shepherd | Curator of Visual Art & Coordinator of the artsprogram | ulrike.shepherd@ zu. de
Prof. Dr. Karen van den Berg | Academic Head of the artsprogram | karen.vandenberg@ zu. de