Suzanne Morianz & Gary Reck, 2006
Sleeping in Twilight and Dust
It began in1984 when Margret Wibmer moved into the warehouse at 33 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn (Breukelen – Broken Land?) New York. The vast 7-floor building was occupied by The Collection and two living tenants, lodging with an old drill press in the kitchen, a spare room full of doors and doorknobs, a wheelchair. Some floors were crammed with old furniture, others filled to the ceiling with restaurant equipment, thousands of dishes and antique liqueur bottles, and everything had a story.
This stuff was acquired for a purpose, but like a merchant permanently out of business The Collector never intended to sell. Things were to be used for a restaurant, a new addition to a building, some interior scheme. Much of it picked up from city streets and dumpsters, things had changed hands many times. Some carted off from the Museum of Natural History during renovation. Other stuff acquired at auction in wholesale quantities, often packed in bundles of odd ends that included arcane surprises, which in the Collectors’ mind held promise for yet more ideas, each one The Last of It’s Kind.
At the time this here show opens enormous Japanese drills are shaking the old Warehouse on Flatbush Avenue to strike new foundations for redevelopment on now priceless surrounding parking lots. The 97.66% of the Collection will eventually be scattered about. There is a moratorium on any dust collecting. The Big Broom is coming. The fringe has now become the center.
Margret came back to Brooklyn specifically to adopt a few items for this show. She surveyed the Collection, took photos, made choices, cleaned, packed, arranged for transport, filled out forms and worried that the shipment would arrive OK at the other coast. And what it would be like to unpack the prize… ?
Waking in the Light of a Brand New Day,
the object that belongs to no one. Exiled from usefulness as well as locale these things arrive at Margrets studio as fragments, stripped, unmade, as sheer form, entirely disconnected from a recognizable purpose, transformed into pieces for a new game. Margret begins to direct by sheer observation; Detecting tendencies, calibrating kinetic weights and measures, investigating relationships, and then collaborating in a struggle with the artifacts as they are “making themselves”
One could imagine an Alien following some cryptic, rubbed-out blueprint, arranging this medley content of a time capsule to reverse-engineer a human body, using rudimentary machine parts to deduct from, but without any sense of purpose. It’s funny. There’s a feeling of ridiculous misunderstandings; Not knowing how anything could fit together, the objects are left to their own devices. They speak body languages in and out of themselves and form relationships within the space. Some just arrogantly perch being beautiful, some appear befuddled, innocent, some nervous.
The surveillance camera
must have been eavesdropping, as there are photos representing some logic/morphologic evidence. Or perhaps these are from a ‘How To” instruction book, a manual for the “un-readymade”? Ironically though these photos depicting a model remind a lot of 1950ies household appliance advertisements. The dress up and poise has an air of the same unequivocal confidence that was then selling the “modern” product and with it a bright new future.
has been distanced from our bodies. New tech; Levers turn with no hands grabbing, no arms lifting, seldom even a finger bending. We’ re down to pushing buttons, the faster, the better. Our favorite toy: the joystick. It’s all hand/eye. Then in reverse, at the gym we plug our body into the machine that feeds back some of the resistance technology has taken away.
The elements of time (The REALLY Big Broom) On one hand there’s a sense of something happening VERY slowly. A strange museum where eternity stops in its tracks. Intermediate, caught between rescues from one uncertainty to another, this is a fleeting arrangement.
These artifacts have found asylum here, for the time being. Transience. They will in some form or another outlive us like our bicycles & cars, our jewelry, our cel phones, our computers.
Simply put, the plan here was to recover something tangible for NOW, from total obscurity and oblivion in a vestige of urban US salvage, as part of a new game; From one continent to another, 2 worlds apart, 3+ decades over.
This text was published on the occasion of the exhibition ‘0,33 % of a collection’ at the Kunstvereniging (artspace) Diepenheim, The Netherlands in March 2006. Suzanne Morianz is a jewelry designer, graphic artist and foreign correspondent. Gary Reck is a writer and rock musician.