"Shouldn't we each time, each joyful and contemplative time when we open a book, consider the miracle that this text has even found its way to us?" Georges Didi-Huberman, The Archive Burns, 2007
Didi-Huberman's reflection leads to the question of which content is recognized and safeguarded over time and used as a source for art historiography. In addition to publicly accessible archives and collections as repositories and storehouses of knowledge, are the autonomous archives, whose collections often receive only limited attention. The individual collectors of such independent archives decide for themselves what is worth preserving, beyond criteria such as visibility, material value, circulation, rarity and the legal guidelines. In this way, the holdings of autonomous archives have unique qualities and have received increasing attention over the years.
Hubert Kretschmer has maintained "AAP Archive Artist Publications," an autonomous archive of artists' productions, since 1980. With an exhibition dedicated to AAP, Haus der Kunst
launched its new series "Archives in Residence," which focuses on the relationship between the archive and the formation of history.
Hubert Kretschmer's archive in Munich's Türkenstraße houses over 50,000 works by artists from 76 countries. His interest does not focus on valuable bibliophile editions, but on limited circulations, many produced using the simplest means, as well as publications and editions. To this day, Kretschmer finances these purchases through his profession as an art teacher. The collection includes artists' books and magazines, multiples, posters, invitations, CDs and records, artists' stamps, videos, zines, delivery directories and exhibition catalogs, which reflect the art movements of the last 40 years, including Fluxus and Neue Wilde, as well as happenings, action art, mail art, stamp art, concrete and visual poetry, conceptual art, appropriation art and copy art.
Hubert Kretschmer's presentation in Haus der Kunst inspired the collector to call on his artists to make their publications available so exhibition visitors could not just look at the works but also hold them.
Artists and publishers (a selection): Laurie Anderson, Thom Argauer, John Baldessari, Yto Barrada, Beißpony, Christoph Best, Joseph Beuys, Claus Böhmler, Christian Boltanski, George Brecht, Marcel Broodthaers, Stanley Brouwn, Daniel Buren, Ulises Carrión, Jacques-Elie Chabert, Joyce Cutler-Shaw, Hanne Darboven, David Dellafiora, Leo Erb, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Robert Filliou, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Peter Fischli, Wolfgang Flatz, Terry Fox, Hamish Fulton, Eldon Garnet, Jochen Gerz, Eugen Gomringer, Philipp Gufler, Dick Higgins, Justin Hoffmann, Stephan Huber, Dorothy Iannone, Jörg Immendorff, Phyllis Johnson, Alex Kayser, Norbert Klassen, Alison Knowles, Daniel Knorr, Vlado Kristl, Ferdinand Kriwet, Berengar Laurer, Jean Le Gac, Sol LeWitt, Anna Lockwood, Richard Long, Markus Lüpertz, Marshall McLuhan, Maurizio Nannucci, Christoph Mauler, Michaela Melián, Thomas Meinicke, Thomas Meissner, Milan Mölzer, Jürgen O. Olbrich, Claes Oldenburg, Ulrike Ottinger, Bruno Paulot, A.R. Penck, Arnulf Rainer, Gerhard Richter, Dieter Roth, Ed Ruscha, Gerhard Rühm, Alexeij Sagerer, Konrad Balder Schäuffelen, Joachim Schmid, Günther Selichar, Kiki Smith, Michael Snow, Annegret Soltau, Klaus Staeck, André Thomkins, Lynne Tillmann, Wolfgang Tilmans, Rosemarie Trockel, Timm Ulrichs, Franco Vaccari, Ben Vautier, Jan Voss, Wolf Vostell, Franz Erhard Walther, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, David Weiss and Emmett Williams
The exhibition is accompanied by excursions, workshops for adults, lectures and a book exchange.