Depot of Disappearance

Installation of single-channel video on LCD monitor and c-print mounted on Dibond, dimension variable, 2009


Installation view.

Depot of Disappearance
is a text-based installation that addresses issues of memory, space and cultural policy. It takes as its focus an independent arts organization, Depot, which was located in the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna during 1994-2001. Fragments of personal memory and knowledge (or ignorance), be they contradictory or consistent, of Depot during this period from diverse individuals collectively suggest a metaphor for the independent cultural development in the times of socio-political changes. To recall the immediate past is neither a relief from fear of disappearance or a pursuit for nostalgia. Instead, it is to contemplate disappearance in its own right. In fact, Depot continues to exist behind the MuseumsQuartier today.

The video was edited from still images (empty corners) of the old premises of Depot which are generated into slow motion.

The soundtrack is the monologue by the artist, compiled from the replies from more than 100 interested parties about their knowledge and memories of the old Depot (or their lack of it). It is about 40 min long and played in loops.

Opposite to the video is a straight-shot photograph of the present Depot’s main room with a blank screen, measured the same size as the LCD monitor.

Print size: 140x98 cm

Print size for the first edition: 140x98 cm

Screen size: 39x70 cm

Screen size for the first edition: 39x70 cm

Audio excerpts:

“Well, I’ve heard about the space, but never went there.

I went there when I was a student. At that time it just started and brought different discussions - in this sense it was a novelty. Since the beginning as she conceived the space it was a discursive space 'only'…”

“During a fabulous, intense conference there covering multiple aspects of remembrance and memorials, we presented our "Places of Remembrance" and "Bus Stop" .For lunch we headed to the nearby Naschmarkt to eat fabulous sushi. These Japanese chefs weren't astonished at all when we praised the quality and responded: "Visitors from Tokyo say the same!" Besides, the Japanese chefs spoke the Viennese dialect fluently - another sign of cultural mobility…”

“At the end of her turn as State curator, there was a talk, and then an initiative, to let the people who had actively contributed and used this place take over, but people responsible did not believe that it would survive as a community-run institution. The initiative was thwarted and after that, its soul died a rather quick death, though it continued a phantom life. Though for me, this was extremely sad at the time, looking back, I believe that institutions and initiatives die in order to make room for new ones…”

“I don’t remember much about it but for sure a friend told me that he saw the MDF shelves there and would just copy them for his studio.”

“I don't remember very well my talk in 1999 in Vienna. I only know that my lecture was too long so I had to talk very quickly. And then there was a panel discussion, which I think, didn't run very well for the German participants suddenly had to defend themselves as being part of the history of the Nazi era. Very foolish and crazy…”

Video stills

Many thanks for their kind replies, contributions or assistance to my quest for memories about Depot (1994-2001):

Vito Acconci, Tejpal Ajji, Dorothee Albrecht, Hildegund Amanshauser, Pamela Auchincloss, Kathrin Becker, Konrad Becker, Lorenzo Benedetti, Tobias Berger, Ursula Biemann, Bik van der Pol, Silvana Borutti, Andrea Braidt, AA Bronson, Adam Budak, Susanne Clausen, Anne Deschka, Katy Deepwell, Michael Diers, Stephen Duncombe, Harun Farocki, Maurizio Ferraris, Judith Fischer, Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya, Ole Frahm, Andrea Fraser, Anita Fricek, Martin Fritz, Rainer Fuchs, Sonja Gangl, Jeremy Gilbert, Brian Goldfarb, Clare Goodwin, Eva Grubinger, Claudia Haas, Sara Haq, Hitomi Hasegawa, Vinzenz Hediger, Nicola Hirner, Joachim Hirsch, Sabina Hörtner, Nina Höchtl, Oscar Ho, Sabine Hornig, Ian Hunter, Ursula Hübner, Hu Fang, Hitomi Iwasaki, Mary Jane Jacob, Martin Jay, Sabine Jelinek, Brett Jones, Sunjung Kim, Arthur Kleinjan, Jay Koh, Karl-Heinz Klopf, Jeannette Koller, Jan Kopp, Frauke Kreutler, Richard Kriesche, Henry Krips, Charles Labelle, Gerda Lampalzer, Dinh Q. Lê, Lee Weng Choy, George Legrady, Christopher Lew, Christina Li, Ernst Logar, Sandra Lourenço, Manu Luksch, Yung Ma, Sophie McIntyre, Alejandro Meitin, Matthias Michalka, Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Ruth Noack, Elaine Ng, Morgan O’Hara, Tozer Pak, Klaus Pamminger, Madeleine Park, Dominik Portune, Doron Rabinovici, Martina Reuter, Simon Reynolds, Stella Rollig, Marlene Ropac, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Victoria Rowley, Catherine Russell, Jayce Salloum, Julian Samuel, Christoph Schäfer, Klaus Schafler, Heinrich Schmidt, Stih & Schnock, Georg Schöllhammer, Gregory Sholette, Dirk Snauwaert, Carol Stabile, Eva Maria Stadler, Eugene Tan, Philip Tinari, Thomas Tode, Momoyo Torimitsu, Shirley Tse, Rieko Tsubaki, Hilary Tsui, Herwig Turk, Heidemarie Uhl, Holger Kube Ventura, Alejandro Vidal, Erik Vogt, Heimo Wallner, Martin Wassermair, Jason Wee, Nina Wotapka, Jun Yang, Pauline Yao, June Yap, Wolfgang Zinggl, and more….