11 | 2006
25 November 06–4 February
Lisa Schmitz. InVerse Library
ZKM_Museum Balcony, Media Library and Library
Opening Fri 24 November 7 p.m. on the ZKM_Museum Balcony
Over the past several years, Lisa Schmitz has developed a unique method for photographing libraries. Whereas the well-known library photographs by Candida Höfer are genuine reproductions of reality in the era of early documentarism, the library photographs by Lisa Schmitz are in the constellation of post-photography, a form of documentation following from the constructed and staged photography developed in the 1970s and 1980s. The artist has taken on these experiences and developed her own theory from them. She intervenes in the libraries before taking photos and does so at the central point, namely, the information. She turns all of the books around so that only the white paper is visible rather than the book spine. She covers all of the printed papers with blank paper. She erases, as it were, the writing, the essence of the books, and thereby negates the archive, the entity of the library. The photographs show the library in a state of informational void, a state of empty white. In this way, remaining as the sole image of aesthetic experience is the library. At the same time, however, she puts up a labyrinthine installation, consisting of thousands of punched tapes filled with coded information - a homage to the nearby Zuse 22-computer - onto which pages of books, strings of words, and panels of texts are projected, presenting the contrary principle: a surfeit of information so overwhelming that it drowns us like a maelstrom. Images of books and libraries hang on the wall, rather than books themselves. Images of books and libraries are superimposed onto library dispositifs. Projected onto a labyrinthine structure, on one hand, these images represent and reduplicate or publish the reality of the library in the guise of the sophisticated cultural-studies library of Aby Warburg, and on the other hand, they extend the space of the library into the imaginary, into the endless space of thought.
Curated by Peter Weibel