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a history-free space ein geschichtsfreier Raum un espace non-historique

Lifetime Europe —

Lifetime Europe a history-free space – ein geschichtsfreier Raum – un espace non-historique Since 2005 Intervention, in progress Mixed media In summer 2005 Haus am Gern travelled to Leipzig on a two month residency following the invitation by the Leipzig Ar­ tists Association (BBKL) to develop a project there. On 25 th Ju­ly, Haus am Gern acquired allotment garden nr. 266 in plantation II belonging to the allotment garden association Anger-Crottendorf. The previous tenants had farmed this plot for thirty years (1975 – 2005). The plot’s 208 square me­ ters, cultivated in three equal parts with fruit and vege­ tables, flower beds and lawn, passed into the pos­ses­sion of Haus am Gern unchanged, including the stone ga­zebo and the entire inventory (tools, furniture and deco­ra­tion). On completion of the purchase, Haus am Gern became a mem­ ber and tenant of the allotment garden association AngerCrottendorf. Within the existing gazebo, Haus am Gern built a free­stan­ ding structure measuring 2.10 x 2.12 x 2.14 meters. The spa­ ce was designed as a cleanroom according to EN ISO 14644 contamination control standard (technical consultant: Daniel Grimm, CH) and consists of an anteroom with storage for

protective clothing as well as the actual dust-free space. An air conditioning system controls the climate in the room and slight positive pressure prevents the infiltration of dust particles. Haus am Gern declared this room a “history free” space. The history free space was cleaned, certified, locked and sea­led by the specialist company profi-con Contamination Control (Aschaffenburg/Leipzig) and cannot be acessed since. Garden 266 and the history free space were looked after by Jasper and Christine Friedrich-Leye until 2007 and since then by the Holzers, a family of five from Leipzig, with the sup­ port of neighboring tenant Hannes Fechtner. Allotment plot 266 with the history free space is open to the public for gui­ ded visits on request ( — LIFETIME EUROPE is for sale. All responsibilities and duties devolve to the buyer.



CleanRoom Air shower


A cleanroom is an environment, typically used in manufacturing or scientific research, that has a low level of environmental pol­lu­­tants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles and chemical vapors. More accurately, a cleanroom has a controlled level of contamination that is specified by the number of particles per cubic meter at a specified particle size. To give perspective, the ambient air outside in a typical urban environment contains 35,000,000 particles per cubic meter, 0.5 μm and larger in diameter, cor­res­ponding to an ISO 9 cleanroom. The air entering a cleanroom from outside is filtered to exclude dust, and the air inside is constantly recirculated through high effi­ciency particulate air (HEPA) and/or ultra low particulate air (ULPA) filters to remove internally generated contaminants. Staff enter and leave through airlocks (sometimes including an air shower stage), and wear protective clothing such as hats, face masks, gloves, boots and coveralls. Some cleanrooms are kept at a positive pressure so that if there are any leaks, air leaks out of the cham­ ber instead of unfiltered air coming in.

Garden enthusiast Hermann Walter cultivated the allotment for 30 years.

Vintage GDR: the gazebo before the errection of the history free space.

One of 39’000: the allotment within the small garden association Anger-Crottendorf II in the east of Leipzig.

Beauty and Vanity: – photograph by Ulrike Holzer

Rich harvest thanks to proper care: René Medick cuts back the trees.

… of the firm profi-con Contamination Control (Aschaffenburg / Leipzig) purifies the industrial cleanroom.

A worker …

Presentation of LIFETIME EUROPE in the group exhibition “The world is not enough” at Städtisches Kaufhaus, Leipzig.

Artists’ brunch on the allotment: left to right Annette Schröter, Barbara Meyer Cesta, Erasmus Schröter, Jürgen Strege.

ON ARCHIVING THE VOID Where nothingness describes the world.

From paradise to the allotment garden: Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel after the expulsion (Julius Schnorr of Carolsfeld, Die Bibel in Bildern, Georg Wiegand's Verlag, Leipzig, 1860).

Empty Room Approach this room carefully. It is empty, completely emp­ty. The closer you come, the larger the temptation is to enter it: the consequences are unpredictable. Contem­ plate this fact: the perfection of this room is its contain­ ment of nothing. A room without a past, without a fu­tu­re. Without any intentions, indifferent to its own bright­ness, to every grid, every kind of geomancy, to sensible ad­di­ tions unless they serve its hermetic hygiene. With­out reac­ tion to fatigue and energy, untouched by table legs, never crossed by clotheslines or even the flapping of a lost but­ terfly,s wings, without a memory of points of entry, ex­ change of bodily fluids, noiseless, unwounded and with­out scorch marks. No confession, no treason, no sighs, no deep breaths, no prospect, neither re-birth nor resur­rec­tion. An abject room. Perhaps you had better walk away again. Your stay is crea­ ting a precarious situation: for you and the room. See, you,re already imagining that so­me­thing is touching the dust-free interior walls; you,re startled even though you haven,t heard anything … It is, as if a story were trying to begin. A hopeless entangle­ment, and you know it. Not in this room.

Franz Dodel, Writer, Bern

Histoires sans espace Tu verras … C’est déjà vu. L’art existe dans l’œil qui le regarde … À toi de voir. Même le regard le plus hagard n’y peut choir là, au néant de l’histoire. Il n’y a d’yeux que tes yeux, qui sèmement l’art et portent le génie des lieux … au fin fond et même au delà des cieux. Espace sans histoire, vous avez dit !!! ou d’histoires sans espace ??? Tout est dans l’ère imaginaire … dans l’esprit fécond et fertile. À toi de voir. L’être n’a rien à voir avec l’avoir, le pédant et le stérile. Bang … Bang … Qui a pété le big bang ??? L’art existe dans l’œil qui le regarde … Ainsi murmurait la Petite Grande étoile.

Ali Bouzaroura, WRITER

Feeling like a Cleanroom – a few thoughts to cheer you up

By definition a cleanroom is a room with controlled con­ ditions. One look at the daily papers proves that the world cannot be a cleanroom.

see it – remains uninfluenced by us at that moment. Our history continues, the history “outside on the street” continues without us.

In cleanroom technology we talk about “contamination control.” By this we mean contamination in the sense of impurification – the air is probably only really pure and clear on Mt. Everest, and only when no humans are pre­sent.

The playful thought that the cleanroom protects the en­ vi­ronment, but also protects the people within from environmental influences, may lead us in many direc­ tions.

We will thus never experience how clean and clear an uncontaminated room is, for it is humans who contami­ nate it with their presence, their thoughts and their en­ er­gy. Designing a “history-free space” is a bold project. Hu­ man beings only exist in their present emerging from their past, with a look into the hopeful future. A room without history would also be a room without the phy­ sical presence of humanity – probably nirvana or pa­ra­ di­se, depending which version of history you pre­fer. The technical application of cleanrooms extends from semiconductor technology to the food industry and me­ dicine. Without cleanrooms, microchips would be un­ think­able. Without microchips, archiving data would be much harder to realise. Archiving data means the ma­ni­ festation of the existence of history – which makes it even bolder to represent a “history-free space” in a clean­room. By entering the history-free space, we are cut off from the environment. What happens there – even if we can

At the moment when an individual recognises that the history of the world will continue to be written without his assistance, he becomes aware of his own inade­qua­ cy. If he makes his and the world’s history into an inte­gral component of the present, a great deal of the mistakes experienced in the past would no longer be relevant for the future. Many individuals make a crowd. Perhaps even every­ one? Microchips are produced faultlessly in a clean­room. In a “history-free space”, a future might be built that at the very least does not repeat the mistakes of the past. In this respect, humans would only have to learn from their history – and create a clean space in their heads and hearts, free of the chains of prejudice. What a bold project.

Daniel Grimm, Secretary of the Swiss Society for Cleanroom Technology.

If we are saying that nothing exists either inside or outside, then the question arises: inside and outside of what? Something evidently, all the same, does exist? Or perhaps doesn't exist. In which case, why do we keep saying 'inside' and 'outside'? No, here we have patently reached an impasse. And we our­sel­ ves don't know what to say. Goodbye for now.

Daniil Kharms, “On Phenomena and Existences Nr. 2” [1934], in Incidences, trans. Neil Cornwell, London: Serpent’s Tail, 2006, p. 96

CREDITS Host Bund Bildender Künstler Leipzig BBKL (Association of Visual Artists Leipzig) Location «The world is not enough», Städtisches Kaufhaus Leipzig Curators Christine D. Hölzig, Gabriel Häussler Intervention Allotment Garden Association Anger-Crottendorf Anlage II, Leipzig Studio Kunstkaufhaus Leipzig; Gerda Viecenz Accommodation Jürgen Strege Photography Simon Rübesamen & Nadin Maria Rüfenacht Garden 266 Hermann Walter & Familie Technical support Daniel Grimm Drywall constrution René Medick Cleanroom servicing Du­ ver­nell profi-con Contamination Control Leipzig Gardening Hannes Fechtner; Jasper and Christine Friedrich-Leye; Max and Renate Holzer and Children Supported by Agentur für Arbeit Leipzig / Büro für Internationale Beziehungen Leipzig; Präsenz Bern, Office for Cultural Affairs Leipzig; Kulturraum Leipziger Raum / KR – 05; Kultur­stiftung Sachsen, KulturStadt Bern; REAL Immobilien GmbH Leipzig; Beat Hugi; Yvonne & Robert Häussler; Pro Helvetia; Kanton Bern

Photo: Nadin Maria Rüfenacht & Simon Rübesamen

A history free space // 2005 © Haus am Gern Cleanroom 210 x 212 x 214 cm, free after EN ISO 14644 contamination control standard Built into the gazebo at allotmentt 266, small garden association Anger-Crottendorf e.V. / Leipzig.


Garden enthusiast and friendly spirit: Hannes Fechtner of garden 267

Artists’ brunch at the allotment: Heiner, Christine and Jasper Friederich-Leye

Planting, weeding, cutting, digging: left to right Max, Ulrike, Oskar, Renate and Arne Holzer tend to garden 266.


Matthias Wyss, Gazebo Leipzig, pencil on paper, 2006

Tilo Steireif, Lifetime Europe, felt-tip pen on paper, 2007

Bertram Kober, Lifetime Europe, photograph, 2007

One year on allotment 266 Growth, bloom, harvest and decay

MONO/e Lifetime Europe  

MONO is a folder gathering 20 single small books. It's in fact the first Monograph about the work of «Haus am Gern» 1998 - 2010 with lots of...

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