Kornspeicher and Inspektorhaus
at Novalis-Museum Wiederstedt

Von Jedem Eins - Kahlenberg/Bott [One Of Each – Kahlenberg/Bott]

DE 2023

Why does history first have to be buried and then excavated again by archaeologists? This is the question asked by Karsten Bott, who has been working on his Archive of Contemporary History for over 30 years. One of Each is his motto and the title of numerous presentations of distillates from this archive. Around 5,000 banana boxes containing about 500,000 objects now comprise his collection. What constitutes the value of everyday things? What lifts them out of the devaluing vortex of industrial production, serial monotony, mass consumption and throwaway culture? Their individual use and the personal stories attached to the objects, says Bott. The fact that they are found, salvaged, preserved and presented like cherished treasures could be added from the curatorial perspective of My Precious. For the Werkleitz Festival 2023, Bott embarked on a new quest. Together with the Hettstedt scrap collector Dieter Kahlenberg, Von Jedem Eins – Kahlenberg/Bott [One of Each – Kahlenberg/Bott] was created. This is an excerpt from the holdings of the former toolmaker, who worked in the rolling mill of the Mansfeld Combine until the early 1990s and had already started collecting valuable second-hand materials in 1970, when scrap prices began to rise. “Here I have my peace and my kingdom,” Kahlenberg says of his property and his collection. He and Bott made a selection together, and the artist sorted and presented the treasures according to his method, arranged by various social functional contexts.