DEATH OF BRITISH KINGS OR QUEENS/ APARTMENT INSIDE-OUTSIDE-INSIDE
sketch of a performance for at least 80 participiants. Materials: An apartment filled with the belongings of its inhabitants, public transportation, a second apartment in the same city that is empty. Duration aproximatly 2 ½ hours.
Ulrich says, Oliver lived for years in his apartment without a bed, a chair, a table, without any furniture. I don't remember if he had a refridgerator and i have forgotten if he spread his clothings, books and food on the floor of the appartment to enable himself to find each single one of them faster, or if it was to make him feel more comfortable in a universe that looked populated by things, or if he just did it to be able to see all his belongings at the same time. Which might have made him happy either because it was so much or so few . Did he have plates? Do you organize your things according to their size, their colour, their value, their possible uses or their frequency of use? Are you hiding some of your things?
In Friedenstrasse 7 in Stuttgart the cupboards in the appartment number 42 are the same as the ones that you find in Sankt Anna Platz 8 or in Trogerstrasse 73 in Munich. The switches of the lights in Paris are positioned approximately 10 centimeters higher than they are in most of the flats I know in Germany. The lightswitches in Gormannstrasse 24 in Berlin are so beautiful, that I would think about taking them with me in case i was living there and moving to another apartment.
You can leave everything that you don't need anymore here. What sort of memories are the first ones you forget? You can leave everything here and try to find somebody who will do the same at his place and exchange with him. Exchanging is work as well. You remember the red paperclip that Kyle McDonald managed to exchange for a house in making 15 fifteen exchanges. But first you are helping friends to start a different life in a new place. You help carrying things from the 4th floor to the sidewalk and from there into a truck that as soon as it is filled will be driven a couple of kilometers and will stop to have its load unloaded by you there. You will then carry it into the new apartment.
Things have a marvellous capacity to multiply and become indispensable. The forth box is as heavy as to make you think it is filled with stones. One of its handles is braking and you find out that it is actually filled with stones. It is hilarious that you start to be angry with your friends now. You are not angry with friends, you are glad about every book, every shoe they decided to keep.
You are again passing the door with the name Burghardt written on it. It is always the same door in front of which you slow down a bit. You are slow enough to read the name on the door before you continue to walk down again. Why is it always this door and how come you still don't seem to know it good enough to at least stop reading the name again and again. Its not the first time either that you look at the cloth that is lying in front it. You are determined to read the names of all people that live in this building when you get to the entrance downstairs, this time for real. The next box is filled with bottles, cans and something that sounds like kitchen utensils. What makes holiday apartments really look deserted or empty is the absence of oil or coffee in their kitchens. Sometimes you don't even manage to find salt. How could anybody possibly have had the stupid idea to produce bottles filled with oil, that contain as few oil as you can use in less than one week even if you only use the oil to make saladdressing. Do the persons that offer short term lodging collect half empty oil bottles? How many people would be needed to carry every single thing from your flat to another flat if everyone of them carried only one piece.
You are on the red square in moscow. You are standing in an endless row of people waiting to see the deceased head of state presented in the room in front you before he is disappearing into the earth. And you remember the landcruiser of Costa, that weighed three tons an didn't have a starter for one of the months that you were using it. It needed at least five persons to push it everytime you had parked it and wanted to move on again. Everyone that you asked was willing to help, if you were fast enough to organize the other persons needed to do the job. And everyone of them looked happy the moment the black cloud came out of the back of the car and the motor was running again. The next time you change your apartment, you will not prepare anything apart from inviting enough people to have everyone make the passage from one place to the other carrying your things only once.
Or you will be sitting in a café and for half an hour there will be people passing by, carrying things that seem to be the furniture and entire belongings of a person or family that you probably don't know. It is a long row with irregular intervals.
Fotos: Jochen Dehn, Monika Gintersdorfer, Knut Klassen 2005 Abidjan/ Accra