barbara caveng 2000minus2 365 days 365 found items

365 found items on retail shelves
12 tableau from january to december | C-print on aludibond
100 x 100 cm each

Installationsansicht ‘…und ab die Post’ | Altes Postfuhramt, Berlin | 1999

[…] “Beautiful to see all that filth shine through the transparent plastic skin that protects the observer from possible inconvenience – protected vision without the risk of infection or unpleasant odors. However, grotesque, when the observer looks at it “from the outside”. Shameful, when sooner or later one will have to take a good look in the mirror and see oneself as part of an anonymous community that carelessly generates such masses of waste. Weird to see, how waste becomes conceptual art, presented in a bureaucratically objective way without a wagging forefinger.”

Ulrich Puritz | Der Betrachter ist in Arbeit  (Observer under progress) | catalog text | 2000minus2 | 365 days – 365 findings | ISBN 3- 932294-40-8

12 months |365 days – 365 found items

In 1998, on the eve of the forthcoming millienium the world showed an over excitement. The ubiquitous term ‘millennium’ marked a caesura in thinking – what would it be like if we entered the orbit of virtuality? ‘Racing stillstand’ spread. The writing and thinking of philosopher Paul Virilio accompanied our development from homo sapiens to the ‘flexible man’. Would materiality still exist beyond the millennium threshold?

We used dial-up services and ISDN modems to connection to the Internet and surfed with a maximum of 64 kBit/s.

Berlin in the late 1990s was as littered as it is today, 2020. I left on the 1st. January 1998 on a 365-day treasure hunt. Every day I stepped out to drift through public space. Civilizational flotsam passed me by until an object was washed ashore for which I bent down: it could be a notebook, a pen, a photograph, a pacifier, a toothbrush, underwear….

I carefully did my forensic work: I photographed the site and the object, I secured the evidence in a plastic bag, added street name and date and archived the whole thing in my backpack for now.


On 31. 12. 1998 I had practically a complete household equipment together. Finely sorted and assigned to the months, I re-staged the found objects in two empty Berlin apartments as tableaux vivants, calendar stories of the year 1998.

For the following exhibitions, the objects of everyday life were sealed and presented on product carriers like in a supermarket – the tableaus lying on the floor enticed the viewers to take a walk with a lowered gaze in remembrance of an analogue world.