Government offices put laws and political decisions into practice. Thus the citizen encounters in government offices the state in its practical manifestation. Public discussion of the political consequences of the work done by government offices takes place, if at all, in parliament and in the media. Against this backdrop, one cannot praise enough the decision to open a space for reflection in the local authority in Munich.

The Liftarchiv that the artists’ group Szuper Gallery installed in the entrance hall refers to the site of its installation, and in ever new attempts using the means of art, it poses questions about the composition of public space. Unlike most of the works financed from the Kunst-am-Bau budget (a programme to put works of art in public buildings – Trans), which are typically static, the Liftarchiv, in which one could ride up and down as in an elevator, served as a site for changing exhibitions, installations and video presentations.

Over the course of four years, Szuper Gallery not only presented its own works but also invited other artists.The spectrum of presentations ranged from a video shot in the corridors of the local authority by way of documenting the history of the micro-state Sealand, as a utopia of an autonomous state, in a series of videos that dealt with various aspects of public space – not least repressive ones – by way of the invitation sent by the artists’group and its question Do We Really Need a New Anti-Imperialism? on to the provocative transformation of the flags of Western countries into “burka spectres” or the call to vote on a painting. As befits a democratic discussion, the contributions were controversial. The controversies led to protests and the covering up of the Liftarchiv. Szuper Gallery declared that this temporary covering up was itself part of the artistic discourse.

Now that the exhibition phase is complete, the activities will be documented and archived as a permanent installation in the Liftarchiv.

Heinz Schütz