Jürgen O. Olbrich


PaperPolice is a long-term project.

Since 1990, I have been rescuing, from paper recycling containers in public spaces, materials I consider have to be saved. These are offered for packing into logical parcels which are then wrapped in a specially-designed wrapping paper. A small portion of these are donated to museums and worldwide collections, both public and private.

Most of the material stays in my PaperPolice Archive, and is used for exhibitions such as the one that has recently concluded in the Kunstzelle at the Werkstätten und Kulturhaus (WUK) in Vienna, Austria. The Art Cell – formerly a telephone booth located in the courtyard – is the smallest exhibition space in WUK.

These parcels are displayed during the exhibition, and every visitor can choose a parcel to keep, the only condition being that they do not open the parcel in the exhibition surrounds. It is actually preferred that the parcels are never opened. In this way, the installation changes all through its duration and, hopefully, nothing is left at the end.

What is rescued from the bins is re-ordered and returned to the discarders like a boomerang. This recycling forms the Paper Police, a monitoring to ensure that nothing that has possible or potential value is ever lost in the garbage mountain.

Life is a circle. Things thrown away are collected, put into a new form, and distributed again.

(Photos taken of the installation at WUK are by Christine Baumann.)

Jürgen O. Olbrich, born 1955 in Bielefeld/Germany, lives in Kassel/Germany

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Blogger Wastedpapiers said...

Lovely idea! I wish you well with your project.

3:42 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Nice concept Jurgen. It's good to see photos of you, it's been a long time since we saw each other in real life.

All the best to you my friend.

Richard A. Meade

9:34 AM  

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