Art Object of the Week: Self-Destructive Art

January 28, 2015


Franziska Klinkmüller, restoring in the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin

There are those kinds of artists, that are consciously making self-destructive art - the great Dieter Roth was one of them and he excelled in mold. But most artists are making self-destructive art out of utter cluelessness. They use glue that turns yellow or a paper that cracks under the paint. And on top of that, there are the limitations of the modern material: aluminum that oxidizes, plexiglas that gets scratched, and audio-visual equipment that becomes obsolete. This week I visited the person who is saving contemporary art from self-destruction: my friend, the restorer Franziska Klinkmüller. At the moment, she’s busy fixing a 19th century train wagon in the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, uncovering its original paint with red stripes (you know how I love stripes so I can’t wait to see the result). Last year she was restoring early 20th century mechanical display puppets at the Deutsches Spielzeugmuseum in Sonneberg. Besides mechanisms in dolls and clockworks, I know that Franziska especially likes to work with gum (also the chewing one) and glue. I met Franziska in 2009 in Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum of Contemporary Art while she was dusting the Dieter Roth Garden Sculpture, but I’m sure that once I turned my back she was doing the fun stuff, like filling up the sculpture’s bottles with rainwater and taking Polaroids. Not that dust isn’t a fascinating topic - it is. I gave guided tours together with the restorers of Joseph Beuys’ Directional Forces in Hamburger Bahnhof and we talked about almost nothing else but dust. And I learnt that one shouldn’t use hair spray to fixate chalk - it makes the color disappear whereas chalk is a pretty resilient material (think of the Caves of Lascaux). I do love restorers - they give you a totally new perspective on art, entering via its material. Coming to think of it on a more philosophical level, Franziska is basically slowing down time. And to top it off, she is also wearing this cute white lab coat.



There are those kinds of artists, that are consciously making self-destructive art - the great Dieter Roth was one of them and he excelled in mold. But most artists are making self-destructive art out of utter cluelessness. They use glue that turns yellow or a paper that cracks under the paint. And on top of that, there are the limitations of the modern material: aluminum that oxidizes, plexiglas that gets scratched, and audio-visual equipment t…

Franziska Klinkmüller, restoring in the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin

There are those kinds of artists, that are consciously making self-destructive art - the great Dieter Roth was one of them and he excelled in mold. But most artists are making self-destructive art out of utter cluelessness. They use glue that turns yellow or a paper that cracks under the paint. And on top of that, there are the limitations of the modern material: aluminum that oxidizes, plexiglas that gets scratched, and audio-visual equipment that becomes obsolete. This week I visited the person who is saving contemporary art from self-destruction: my friend, the restorer Franziska Klinkmüller. At the moment, she’s busy fixing a 19th century train wagon in the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, uncovering its original paint with red stripes (you know how I love stripes so I can’t wait to see the result). Last year she was restoring early 20th century mechanical display puppets at the Deutsches Spielzeugmuseum in Sonneberg. Besides mechanisms in dolls and clockworks, I know that Franziska especially likes to work with gum (also the chewing one) and glue. I met Franziska in 2009 in Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum of Contemporary Art while she was dusting the Dieter Roth Garden Sculpture, but I’m sure that once I turned my back she was doing the fun stuff, like filling up the sculpture’s bottles with rainwater and taking Polaroids. Not that dust isn’t a fascinating topic - it is. I gave guided tours together with the restorers of Joseph Beuys’ Directional Forces in Hamburger Bahnhof and we talked about almost nothing else but dust. And I learnt that one shouldn’t use hair spray to fixate chalk - it makes the color disappear whereas chalk is a pretty resilient material (think of the Caves of Lascaux). I do love restorers - they give you a totally new perspective on art, entering via its material. Coming to think of it on a more philosophical level, Franziska is basically slowing down time. And to top it off, she is also wearing this cute white lab coat.



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