Wand vor Wand
Published by Distanz
Wall before Wall
Gregor Schneider (b. Rheydt, Germany, 1969; lives in Rheydt) is an influential and controversial artist whose work critics like to misunderstand. Disavowing the art object, he thinks by constructing spaces. In the mid-1980s, he sought to pinpoint the “idle state of action.” He altered spaces by inserting duplicates, demolishing an economic way of thinking. Over the past fifteen years, he has gradually moved toward the field of politics and the public sphere. Schneider’s works cross Germany’s more recent history with the non-places of personal existence; he stages encounters between cultural moments that are alien to one another—for example, he wanted to build a black cube in the dimensions of the Kaaba outside St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice (the plan was nixed by the censors).
The catalogue aims to present his art as a cohesive whole spanning three decades. More than three hundred illustrations shed light on its stations; extensive annotations by Gregor Schneider himself and the editor and curator Ulrich Loock mark interconnections as well as contradictions within the oeuvre. The book touches on works Schneider created when he was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen years old (“Adolescent Discontent”, 1980s) as well as the insertion of spaces into a new venue (“Dead House u r”, 2001) or the grinding to dust of Joseph Goebbels’s birthplace (“The Spirit of the Nazi Era”, 2015). It offers the first-ever structured overview of Schneider’s oeuvre in its entirety.