u r

21 Jan

‘By now my work has become independent. It has its own inner dynamics. The sheer amount that I have built in here means that I can’t distinguish any more between what has been added and what has been subtracted. There is no way now of fully documenting what has happened in the house. The only way now would be to measure the hidden spaces. No-one could get to the original structure any more without systematically drilling apart and destroying the house. The layers of lead mean you couldn’t even X-ray it.’

‘Your perception of perfectly concrete things. Suddenly you’re only concentrating on things that once happened, on events that once were. Suddenly you see a house that used to stand in that spot. That is the baffling thing, that things that have gone nevertheless leave a trace. Near Rheydt a whole stretch of land is being dug up for open-cast mining, that’s partly where I get my materials from. Whole houses, whole villages are being torn down, little by little, and that’s when you get those sort of shifts. You are walking through the landscape when you suddenly get the feeling that there could have been a house there, because there is still a pavement there or because there are different odd trees that you wouldn’t normally find there. That is when you get the strongest sense of a time-shift. But it would be a disaster, if we really picked up on that sort of thing. We would constantly be running into walls.’

(The text is an edited transcript of a number of conversations between Ulrich Loock and Gregor Schneider, during the period November

1995 to January 1996, in Gregor Schneider’s house in Unterheydener Strasse in Rheydt and in the Kunsthalle Bern, translated by Fiona Elliott, from More is more catalogue)

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