"Geld" Lichtpauspapier 150x240 Video 1.51min, 2002
(Non-)Communicating Vessells
Gabriele Mackert

Art andLife - those two uneqal sisters - are joined together in a single place within narrative. In the sixties, art and the artists, looking for free spaces, were eagerly pushing away from museums and studios into maginal zones and non places. Their search took them to zero-point localities, which offered spaces that were yet to defined. Meanwhile, the work on biographic fragments has gone in the opposite direction.
The quotation, methodically elegant, carries its reference to the world into the work and into the neutral art space. The White Cube becomes the nesting ground of a hybrid form between documentation and an inventive re-interpretation of the facts, something that moves towards a metamorphic place between reality an imagination. Like a detour in the course of history, like a digression in the run of things. One possible exit.
The work of art as a narrative possibility delineates and limits the space of the autonomous.  lt forms links, going out into the social, aesthetic and linguistic spheres. Within this process, one can define storytelling very basically a something which "everyone may have to say in some way about something that somehow can occur has occured or will occur". Or else, one could simply view it more specifically as a bridge between different categories, referring to painting, sculpture and architecture as the spatial arts, while distinguishing them from the temporal kinds, such as music and film. The(video-)installation as a space/time-continuum breaks through this traditional allocation of roles and without further delay requires the viewer to come up with a spatial investigation, a determination of locality, a perusal and contemplation, and even a personal perspective.
Taking all of this in at once and together it also raises the question about the presence of the work, viewed as a dialectic of the temporal conjunction of these different components. Here, then, an a alysis of the spatial, visual and even narrative strategies could be imagined as being linked together, in a similar way to, for example, the correspondences of expansions or the time leaps occurring as a rhetoric means within the spatial and pictorial levels, not only in language alone. Space is analysed as a structure, and as such serves an excellent purpose in the formation of analogies. The sophisticated metaphorics developed over the centuries now seizes all areas and even describes, to take just one exampte, memory, in architectural terms, as a sequence of places (containers) an image (contents). An often quoted, ancient memorisation method recommends distributing the knowledge, which one is about to commit to memory, into the rooms of an imagine house. Thus linked,the facts are visually store in the appropriate rooms. Memory is then only a stroll through the fictitious building, and it becomes less of an instrument use for the investigation of the past, than a medium within which the past merely looms up every now and again.
The modern ego is a swaying construct . Scraps of memory hold it together poorly at best. The great narratives have all long since been transmitted - and one should interpret this as also meaning "too frequently delivered", without immediately thinking of the letter, which always finds its addressee. At any rate, we have the really strong feeling of no longer being embedded inside such narratives. The course of one's life becomes a collection of coincidental and arbitrary items or episodes, picked up and improvised upon along the way. Discontinuity determines the flow of one's everyday life experience.
Societal romantics may describe the symptomatic dangers of the ever-flexible adjustments to neo-Iiberal economic requirements by pointing to the loss of well-rounded life-stories. it was the privilege of such stories to explain, in plausible terms, just how someone became what he er she was, despite all the strokes of bad luck, and sometimes even because of them. Now there are no heroic characters left, and high ideals are not being developed anymore. Security and a sense of protection are ruthlessly left by the wayside. Yet one cannot easily shake off the feeling that it has always been a matter of keeping in step with what the machines of the modern times required the alienated worker to do. Looked at in this way the cheerful catchcry of all well-meaning psychologists, "become what you really are", appears in a completely different light. lt is not used in the sense of working on fulfilling one's own self, and developing one's own universe of ideals. lt turns out that it has always been the other guys who set the tone and who divided up history (among themselves). 
And so to new experiences: journeys as a way out, as departure, as crossing the threshold into unknown horizons, experiences etc., thewhole never-ending history of escapism and the search for the island that offered rescue (because of its loneliness). The lure of the exotic (the just let's-get-away-from-here!) nevertheless offers a return to the familiar- "still, one has taken along one's Bible, one's childhood memories and one's usual way of talking." It's goocl if others do the dirty work for one. Some people -Englishmen- are said in former times to have let the inspection of the countries or cities they visited be take care of by their servantfolk. The probability of coming across something unusual in the newspaper is (as is well known) "far greater than that of experiencing it in person; in other words, nowadays one experiences the more substantial occurrences in the abstract sphere, an the inconsequential ones in the real sphere". 
Raymond Roussel is probably one of the most extreme representatives among the lonely designers of a world. Such a world should arise entirely from the imagination and its deep foundations. At the age of 17, writing in "My Soul" (later changed to "Victor Hugo's Soul"), one of his juvenilia, he describes his imagination as a mine, as a pit system, which could be cannibalised for the production of 'narrative ore'. All the best of miners' Iuck to him down in that shaft! His machines are transformation fantasies. One has "obstacles to overcome, realms to cross, prisons and secrets to conquer, only to reappear again on the other side of the night, to defeat the slumbering memories. (... ) They open up a space of protective enclosure, which is at the same time a space of marvellous communication". Each new invention lives from those myths of departure, loss and return,those interchangeable myths of the SELF that becames the OTHER and of the OTHER that was basically the SELF." 

This text contains thoughts and inspirations provided by: Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Robert Musil, Jules Verne, Richard Sennett, Gertrude Stein and probably many others as well.