The disused brickworks in Oberkaufungen is an impressive place: an industrial monument, a remarkable building, a bizarre monster, almost demonic in the depths of its interior. Twenty years ago, it was a place in a state of decay and transformation. And it was also a trove where materials and spatial situations could be discovered. Here, near Kassel, Beatriz von Eidlitz and Andreas Stetka set up their installation “Halbwertszeit,” simultaneously with Documenta 11 in 2002.
“Half-life” refers to the period of time in which a substance decreases by half. In a figurative sense, this can mean: old used objects already have half of their lifespan behind them. After that, something new can begin. New aspects, properties, qualities can be discovered in things.
Beatriz von Eidlitz and Andreas Stetka used what they found on the premises of the abandoned brickworks as materials with which to design their installations. In this way, they transfer objects and spaces transferred from the realm of utility and expediency into the sphere of play, alienation, recombination and transformation. On September 1, 2002, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported on this installation with a full-page article under the headline “Das Nebengerümpel der Documenta.”
Two video installations were staged in the Theater am Gärtnerplatz on the occasion of the Kulturtage Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt in the context of the 850th anniversary of the founding of the city of Munich. “Beatriz von Eidlitz and Karina Smigla-Bobinski chose the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz as the location for two video installations, which they have entitled “und das paradies.” The city gave the motto “building bridges” and both artists, who have multinational roots, felt personally addressed. They were thinking of bridges between local people and immigrants, between reality and imagination, between earthly sobriety and lofty expectations.” – Hanne Weskott