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Christoph Büchel Donates the Installation Pausenraum to the City of Kassel
Christoph Büchel, Deutsche Grammatik, 2008. Installation view (detail). Courtesy: Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, London. Photo: Stefan Altenburger.

KASSEL.- When the much-discussed Büchel exhibition Deutsche Grammatik (German Grammar) came to an end in November 2008, the “caretaker’s office”, unlike all of the other rooms, was not cleared out but only locked up. Now the installation Pausenraum (Break Room) has been given to the Kassel Municipal Art Collections as a gift.

On Tuesday, the Lord Mayor of Kassel, Bertram Hilgen, emphasised that Kassel is a city of contemporary art even between documenta exhibitions. Hilgen presented this important donation together with the Director of the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Rein Wolfs, the Director of the Neue Galerie, Marianne Heinz, and Anna Helwing of Galerie Hauser & Wirth. He remarked: “I’m very happy that a part of the Büchel exhibition German Grammar could be preserved for Kassel.”

In this context, Hilgen expressed gratitude to Rein Wolfs and documenta CEO Bernd Leifeld for their efforts to preserve this artwork for the documenta city. In addition, the Lord Mayor thanked the artist Christoph Büchel for the generous gift, which initially will remain at the Fridericianum.

Rein Wolfs explained: “Büchel’s Pausenraum constitutes the sleeping memory of the museal space. It makes the hidden structures of Kassel museum history visible and at the same time evokes a seemingly real yet fictive human character. The break room is exemplary of Christoph Büchel’s artistic practice and in the middle of a collection marks the very instance in which the question of what art is and is not becomes manifest.”

In the autumn of 2008, the Kunsthalle Fridericianum presented the highly acclaimed exhibition Deutsche Grammatik under the artistic direction of Rein Wolfs. With the show, the Swiss artist Christoph Büchel raised the awful spectre of a Fridericianum as a non-museal space. Deprived of its function as museum, its rooms were made available for various interim uses. In addition to a branch of the discount store Mäc-Geiz, a trade fair showcasing the political parties, a reconstruction of files of the former German Democratic Republic’s Ministry for State Security on a bowling alley, a gaming arcade, a tanning studio and a fitness centre, the installation incorporated a caretaker’s office. The caretaker’s utensils, ranging

from a broom and a thermos to a list of phone numbers, are stored in this room, and hanging on the wall next to newspaper articles about past “documenta scandals” is a picture of Hitler’s Alsatian dog. From September 2010 to December 2011, the installation Pausenraum will be open to visitors upon request during the Kunsthalle Fridericianum’s regular opening hours.

Kunsthalle Fridericianum | Bertram Hilgen | Bernd Leifeld | "Deutsche Grammatik" | Christoph Büchel |

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