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Markus Zimmermann

Testimonies

1

Sculptor’s workshop

Did not build anything today, just pet the wood.

After lunch, a conversation with K, in the courtyard near the sunflowers,

while the others have gone into the workshop again to

make work sounds. The lawn sprinkler sprays

peacock eyes in the air, and we sit in the sun, talking and smoking.

Eventually someone comes outside and places an object in the flame to be welded,

sparks spray, and K puts her smartphone on the table and says:

“We distinguish the smartphone from the table, separating metal and silicon from wood,

and we separate living matter from non-living matter. Concepts separate God from

humans, but the elements are not so separated, the transitions are very slow

and fluent.” Then she looks at me and says, “Markus, there is only one world.”


2

Speculation on anonymous material

Already quite tipsy, F expresses himself as follows:

“As dust, it is a crowning glory

to become stone, but most

dust grains cannot do that.

Do not hold out. Give up. Serve

on, a flower or a tree.

Prefer to go on within it!”


3

Dear F

Thanks for the picture of the stage design. It looks good! I expect the saber-toothed tiger to come out of the horizon. When I was five, we were on vacation with the family in Denmark. One day it didn’t stop raining, and we were allowed to watch TV. We didn’t understand the language, but that did not matter, there was a movie in which astronauts landed on a planet where prehistoric-looking animals lived. They were made of plastic and were pulled on strings across the picture frame. Outside, the clouds were dark, grey, blue, violet, and inside this miracle machine television was running. I think I’ve rarely watched a movie with such attention in my life. Your set design reminds me of this, Florian.

Best

S


4

Scholarship number one: Gatenbröcker

I.

Pumpkinseed Bun: one piece 70 cent, 2 pieces 1 euro 40 cent

Emscher-Lippe-bread (1000g): instead of 3 euro 10 cent, 2 euro 65 cent

Puddingschnecke: one piece 1 euro 50 cent, 2 pieces 2 euro 50 cent

Fresh quality for a small price.

Behind the long glass counter the golden baked goods shine. A segment of the counter has no glass. In order to offer the baked goods there as well, transparent foil is stretched across the opening.

Puddingschnecke with a cup of coffee: 2 Euro 50 cents

Slice of cake of your choice with a cup of coffee: 3 Euro 20 cents

Poppy seed or Sesame rolls topped with Zwiebelmett, with a pot of coffee: 3 Euro 20 cents

Beyond the shop window outside a beggar crouches on a folding chair with a tattered newspaper. Again and again he jumps up, picks up his red bowl from the ground and approaches people, speaks to them. Sometimes when people do not respond at all, he gestures loudly behind the glass, and he opens and closes his mouth in a big way.

Chiabattini topped with tomatoes and mozzarella: 2 Euro 25 cents

A woman with many tattoos enters the bakery. One tattoo on her right upper arm is completely fresh and covered with transparent foil and masking tape.

The beggar gets up from his stool and enters the bakery. He orders Puddingschnecke with a cup of coffee for 2 Euro 50. He accepts the plate and cup with a gentle thank you and takes a seat at the counter. Sits just under the golden light of a lamp. Shines like a bun.

II.

Now I would like to take a picture of the baker; we even say “baker” today for someone who just heats up rolls and stands behind a glass counter, exchanging money for confectionery. I would still like to take a picture of her, as she puts on big foil gloves, and I see the scar from a deep cut on her index finger. With the oversized gloves she reaches for a large knife and cuts the bread in the golden light of the halogen lamps.

When handing over my money, our fingers touch, which is enough to make something for an hour. Paint the walls, but cover the floor beforehand so that the paint does not drip on the floor.


5

When I am in my shop

I do not know how old I am

I cannot die in my shop either

I am not with anyone

I have no girlfriend and no friends

in my shop, I do not have to be friendly

I do not open the curious children who

knock on my window – I want to play alone

In my shop I’m not interested in my clients’ opinions

I do not assess or compare the things

that arise in my shop and which I do not sell.


6

Dear F, dear M

Düsseldorf is over. I’m back in Berlin.

A giant stone fell on me. It was arranged for me to go back to where I studied, do a work and talk about it in a lecture. But the fear of it not being enough is something for my little Self, something oddly learned, the fear of not meeting expectations. These thoughts were within me, and I had to keep suppressing them, stopping them from taking over. In the lecture however, I arrived at my best thoughts of the last week; for the peculiarity of what we do consists in the barely comprehensible relationship between two very different forces within us. First, artistic work is one of self-empowerment. No one tells us from the outside, this object, this set design, this artistic ritual is good. We have to believe it ourselves. Against all doubt. This act has something to do with effort, strength, and energy. The reason behind this self-empowerment, though, is something very embarrassing, uncertain. A spike that drills inside oneself becomes transformed into a force that activates and unfolds outside! Bringing these two opposing energies together makes art so difficult but infinitely exhilarating. Turning the most personal fears into the most independent forces.

After the lecture, people came over and told me I was nervous and neurotic, but that worked well as I did not play my cards close to my chest, because I was not just “cool.” It was a wonderful feeling. The next day I gave studio visits, and the level of trust was exhilarating.

During build up you both have repeatedly gone through my head. I imagined you. When screwing, when making decisions about the work, you were present like spirits, inside me.

I reserved the bowling alley in Wedding for December. For a Christmas party with you and others.

Best

S


7

N told me yesterday she noticed that the guys she started studying art with were so great and full of life back then. Daredevil and funny, but that they have sunken over the years, have now turned really grey. While the women of those days are so dazzling now. And that’s because, she thinks, that if their plan, their career, doesn’t work out, the men, being so focused, cramped up. While women have an ability to absorb life in its fullness, such that they are more flexible to changes. Also, these women have a plan B, while many men only have their initial goal, and if it doesn’t work out, they become bitter.


8

I am an envelope designer.

I cut pictures from newspapers and

magazines or find beautiful paper,

maps, for example, pages from books

about plants and windmills. Calendar images.

Out of this I build envelopes with scotch tape,

adhesive dots and glue stick.

I often stick collages on the envelope,

paint or draw something on it.

In the end, I buy nice stamps

in the philatelic department of the main post office

at Alexanderplatz and stick them on my envelope,

finished.

At the moment I am unemployed.


9

Dear S

Now I am on the last pages of The Enterprise, where Lipa goes to school and Berti returns with a thermos flask-knee. Sad, funny, and beautiful. The language and the sentences are so particular. (Mr. Gombrowicz has a very big forehead, which is strongly arched above his eyes, looking deep into the room of the unemployed at their tables.)

I just wonder what is the novel’s attitude toward entrepreneurship, which has mutilated Berti in a way. Thank you for this beautiful contemporary book!

I have a lot of How & Whybooks in Hanover: electronics, mathematics, biology… Wouldn’t that be something for L, if there is a topic that interests him?

Enclosed are pictures of the forester in his district.

Was nice seeing you!

Greetings to everyone!

And Merry Christmas!

M


10

Dear M

I’m halfway through Work and Structure, a book of which I often do not know if I should laugh or cry. This morning at 8 o’clock, I was sitting in the dentist’s waiting room in Dortmund and could not prevent laughing out loud several times. Herrndorf’s writing is so touching and humorous. The book massages my brain. And when he describes how four young men beside him discuss the concept of purpose in Kant and Hegel and pass completely the flower of life around them, he is a razor-sharp observer.

The book fits very well with the break I’m making right now. On the way to Dortmund I stopped in Bielefeld and Herford, both museums had good exhibitions. In Bielefeld H. Hofmann’s paintings, in Herford site interventions by various artists such as Buggenhout. Let’s go, see things, eat out, stroll through the city and highway service areas.

As to the How & Why books, L is particularly interested in railways, fire brigades, police, and technology. These are his topics.

Have a nice Christmas, a warm breeze on festive days, where you can go out the door in the evening to pause for a moment in the light of the neighbourhood homes.

Many greetings

S


11

Merry Christmas!

In Hanover I stumbled upon Heiner Müller again. Found three books written by him published by Rotbuch-Verlag. Such great books. Red, white, and blue design, large font, and amid the text, pixelated photos in black and white: diagrams, pictures of whales and prefabricated buildings.

Literature can only be effective in practice if it is oriented towards a real blueprint of the world and people […] If something is being built here in the DDR, a power plant or a block of flats, then more is being built than just a power plant or block of flats. Each of our works also produces productivity among those who work on them, and the topic becomes the release of productivity […]”

Considering naming the collective in Frankfurt: Heiner Müller and friends.

Title of the exhibition: Feeling B… Well, I’ll sleep on it …

On March 8th it will start as early at 8 o’clock in the morning, then the machine will run for 10 hours with breaks. The visitors will arrive at 18h, at which point a salty, sweet scent is supposed to float into the room. The year’s worth of production of objects will then be complete…

Many greetings

M


Markus Zimmermann

Markus Zimmermann studied Fine Arts in Münster and Braunschweig. After his studies he worked in collectives such as Magicgruppe Kulturobjekt, Welt ohne Zeit, Ikonostase, Caspa-Hausa-collective and Art Ashram. In 2012 he developed SUPERFILIALE, a format which has operated with a changing cast ever since. SUPERFILIALE was performed, among others, at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

http://www.markuszimmermann.info


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