Given that among the interests at the core of his practice is his concern regarding “space in confrontations with art,” artist Marcus Geiger
takes on the challenge of intervening in the architecture of HKW. Yet even a simple interference with the building gets quickly halted by a vast list of conservation regulations as HKW is protected as a cultural heritage site. Some things can be realized, although always necessarily through a complicated set of maneuvers to prevent a physical “confrontation” with the building’s structures. The thick layer of protocols for maintenance of cultural monuments thus in effect always separates the work of art from its host. Geiger thus chooses to disclose this separation by unrolling the protective layer of recycled paper over the entire surface of the institution’s expansive foyer. The cardboard-like veils of paper used by painters to protect the building’s surface clash with its modernist rhetoric of clarity, openness, and transparency, even literally, as the progression of the event sees this false flooring become dirty and disorderly. The work thereby becomes a paradox. It both critiques the attitudes of preservation and preserves them, protecting the building from even the traces of a project aimed at rethinking how to overcome the contemporary structural impasses, and to envision other prospects ahead.