Pain of the Archivists

 

The Pain of the Archivist, installation, 350 soaps, 280 x 160 x 5cm, Galerie Berlin-Weekly, Berlin, 2011.

The true collector, according to Walter Benjamin, must lift the object out of its contexts of meaning in order to arrive at an incomparable view of things - the view of the great physiognomist. And so, in each of his objects, he is the world present. But the hope for a completeness of things is fading. That is why the collector is also an allegorist, who no longer looks at an uncanny wholeness, but only at the mystery of the many interconnected things. For the writer Ernst J√ľnger, catastrophe is a condition of collecting: in the loss of cultural objects, the sense of them is refined; their disappearance sharpens the perception of their inherent order. Through rubble and fires, an illuminating principle takes hold. Where there is no destruction, there is no gathering. This can only be meant metaphorically. To collect is to omit.