Possibly land surveyor K. is an employee of friend S.’s City Demolition Industry, Inc.
BIG Conference 200 m corridor
Internal Elevation T. to A., righthand wall
and 02 to 22, lefthand wall according to plan Wandabwicklung.
Actual size drawing
In City Demolition Industry, Inc., an essay by Japanese architect and writer Arata Isozaki published in 1962, the steadily increasing number of traffic deaths in the city is worrying S., a hit man. As a killing machine, traffic competes with S.’s trade and insults his professional honour and, ultimately, is critical for his changing the sector. In order to eliminate competition friend S. establishes City Demolition Industry.
Land surveyor K., the protagonist in Franz Kafka’s unfinished novel The Castle, is in turn struggling for his existence to be acknowledged by the inscrutable and, as it turns out, inaccessible authority of the castle and its administration. While the castle represents a perfidious and perfectly organised world, Kafka’s description of the vain endeavours of land surveyor K. orbits around a void centre, the city, society. What if he had now found his calling as an employee of City Demolition Industry? What if he had countered these lost efforts with a positive turn toward destruction, resistance, action?
Claudia Märzendorfer’s temporary wall drawing Möglicherweise ist Landvermesser K. Angestellter des Instituts für Stadtzerstörung GmbH des Freundes S. is an approach to visually translate the technical term Wandabwicklung [internal elevation]. This term, which can be found on floor plans of the BIG building, is taken literally here, as if one were unwinding the wall. Thus, the outlines of all recesses such as doors, windows, edges, sockets, ventilation dampers, notches and bulges are reduplicated, and as a result the corridor’s heterogeneous structure is concentrated in its entirety. The wall drawing covers the complete length of the corridor on the second floor of the BIG building which connects the old and new structures. The continuity of the drawing is sporadically interrupted, in other patches the rhythm of the lines is densely woven, at all times it mirrors the existing architecture.
The drawings appear like traces of urban dust. With a brush the pigments were applied straight to the wall. Their presence is reminiscent of the absence of another object – like the traces on the walls so typical for vacated flats, for instance – but also of the transient reduplication of an object by its shadow. To realise the drawing in form of a ‘dust work’ means to emphasise the context of urban space and its constant change.
Wandabwicklung. Möglicherweise ist Landvermesser K. Angestellter des Instituts für Stadtzerstörung GmbH des Freundes S. is so far the most extensive in a number of dust works with which Claudia Märzendorfer addresses issues such as transiency, conservation and destruction, disappearance and restart and deals with these in her distinct material language. She started making dust works in 2003 with action Painting; most recently the artist realised a number of ‚dust shelves’ in Vienna titled Tomorrow ist auch ein russischer Tag (2010).
By the way: Due to the submission, “the production and preservation of this art work are completely innocuous and non-toxic”.