Gregory Sholette

White Box Exhibition

Imaginary Archive
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

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