The Archive

Photos: Hannes Hartmann, Herbordt/Mohren, René Liebert

All That I Have #1-5

Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart, Galerie Matica Srpska Novi Sad, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main, Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina Novi Sad, new media Novi Sad, Sophiensaele Berlin, ULUV Galerie Novi Sad, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, zeitraumexit Mannheim, and others.

‘All That I Have’ is a long-term research and archive project on concepts and visions for future societies. In formats that range between exhibition, performance, and talk, and that apply different artistic and discursive strategies the research process becomes archived, presented and enhanced.

The basic elements of ‘All That I Have’ are: 170 questions to an indefinite future; 2537 excerpts of texts, films, articles, artworks and expert talks that relate to the questions; 361 commodities, objects and forgotten memorabilia that are mentioned on slips of paper and relate to the questions; 96 meters of inventory lists containing all movements, sounds, stories, talks, persons, objects, places and things that cannot be seen which emerge in the archive and relate to the questions; a performance tool consisting of two standardized europallets, above one square meter of planed roof battens, as a mobile research unit, exhibition design and stage.

In different episodes these materials are classified according to places and themes; during international research trips they are supplemented. They become the starting point of medial transformations (films, rooms, audio tracks, movement scores, and so on), and the theatrical medium of ever new discoveries of something that is yet to come.


“We are part of one of these multi-layered, elaborate theatrical installations the artists Herbordt/Mohren create. What the installation represents in form of a labyrinthine archive of slips of paper, voices and collages of objects is nothing less than a basic inventory of life as such.” (Berliner Zeitung, June 14, 2010)

“There is a light switch, one of those you find on small floor or desk lamps. Below it says on a small file card in neat ballpoint hand: ‘A light switch (that will change the world)’ and ‘Related Question: 1067’. The latter says – once you find it: ‘How are worlds made?’ But even if you don’t find it – this question, or any other of the many questions Bernhard Herbordt and Melanie Mohren collected: You find and pose numerous others while you wander through their installation, listen to the voices coming from offstage and from headphones, and read what is written on the small white cards. /…/ ‘All That I Have’, as a walk-in universe of memories, hopes and questions to the future, is so playfully appealing that you almost don’t want to leave it.” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 30, 2011)

“It is all at the observer’s discretion. She or he has to move as if they attended a Kabakov exhibition, has to read quotes from Hannah Arendt to Armin Dallapiccola on slips of paper as if they were in a library, has to complete film stills from ‘Fitzcarraldo’ to ‘Solaris’, has to listen to audio tracks while still perceiving what the real co-visitors as co-players do: They – like everyone else there – climb through the open walls of slips of paper as if constantly changing their state of aggregation. For doing this you are rewarded by a stunning aerial choreography of inner and outer images which emerges from this thick web of movements of bodies and minds. And you realize what successful communication might be: an alchemist floating.” (Berliner Zeitung, June 4, 2011)

“And while you inspect piles of paper slips, photos and newspaper articles, and listen to the voices from the headphones, you may secretly observe other visitors on their paths through the disparate material, shifting their weight from one foot to another, walking to and fro in the room. Worldmaking, it says in a quote by Nelson Goodman for Question 1067, begins with one version and ends in another. While they roam about between objects and lists, getting lost and back on track again through one of the questions, the visitors of Herbordt/Mohren’s ‘All That I Have #5: Observing’ (2011) create such versions of worldmaking: incomplete, elusive utopias.” (Boldt, Esther: ‘Warten Sie nicht auf das Theater! – Notizen aus der Ungewissheitszone.’ In: Mittelstädt / Pinto (eds.): 20 Jahre BUFT – Freie Darstellende Künste. Die freien darstellenden Künste in Deutschland. Diskurse – Perspektiven – Entwicklungen. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2011.)


Concept, archive, text, sound, artistic direction: Melanie Mohren and Bernhard Herbordt
Space design: Leonie Mohr and Hannes Hartmann
Performers: Lina Lindheimer, Mladen Alexiev, Armin Wieser
Speakers: Melanie Mohren, Bernhard Herbordt and Max Landgrebe
Production: Melanie Mohren, Bernhard Herbordt and Marc Pohl
Assistance: Juliane Beck

A production by Herbordt/Mohren in cooperation with the Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart, the new media Novi Sad, Recherchen 11 at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt, Sophiensaele Berlin and zeitraumexit Mannheim, supported by the Aktion Kulturallianzen, Goethe-Institut Belgrade, the Capital Cultural Fund Berlin, the Vojvodina Institute for Culture, the State Association of Independent Theaters Baden-Württemberg financed by the Ministry for Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg as well as the LBBW foundations of the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg.