An approach about collecting or: I am a servant of art.
The home of a collector, Berlin, 2015
Boris Lurie, a U.S. artist with Russian roots, called the wall in his apartment on 66th Street in Manhattan “an accumulation of time”, overgrown over decades with newspaper clippings, fax documents and pictures. One could extend this term to include the space and refer to the Berlin apartment of the notorious lover and collector of catalogs, artistsʼ books, editions, and objects to the point of bric-a-brac. Susanne Wehr has captured the expansive architecture of books from various perspectives and in impressive black and white photographs. The collectorʼs apartment in Berlin has been overgrown since many years. Layer by layer, square meter by square meter, the individual elements add up to a landscape, an environment unlike any other. Stacks of books, fragile, supporting each other, populate the rooms all the way to the bathroom and bedroom, while the kitchen, which only offers seating for one person, the occupant himself, serves as storage space for everything else. Tin boxes perceived as rare, other utensils up to works of art on the walls and the ceiling dominate the kitchen. Only the floor is relatively free, unlike the other rooms. In the rest of the flat, narrow corridors allow an extremely cautious approach to prevent the imminent danger of collapse of the rickety towers. In the living rooms, a predominantly book enthusiast lives with his objects of desire piled up into mountains, which often have to be present in three copies so that one can always remain originally packed, virgin and untouched. The collectorʼs drama is that even several lifetimes added to one would not provide enough time to appreciate everything, let alone read. But the collector has long since said farewell to this. There is also no time to ponder, as the publishers of his interest spit out supplies every year. In the end, the collector decided to donate the most beautiful fruit of his passion, the library that had grown over decades, to the public art and museum library in Cologne, Germany.