Elzel / Müller Archive
Since 2003 Wiebke Elzel and Jana Müller have been working on a series of small-format photographs, which are grouped under the title Elzel / Müller Archive. They are images of rooms whose doors are bricked up, empty factories with piles of files towering on their floors, or the flooded surgery room of an abandoned hospital. In these pictures, the question arises as to the event that has brought the depicted rooms and places to a state of standstill and deconstruction. Wiebke Elzel and Jana Müller initially seem to answer this question by meticulously stamping the images of real places with a stamp on a gray passe-partout that provides information about the name, location, and date of creation. However, this information ultimately proves useless in answering the question of the specific event. The catastrophe remains as unnamed here as in the staged images of the series Imagery of Disaster. What remains is a catastrophe report directed into nothingness – and the images in their physical quality and their aesthetic presence.
The Elzel / Müller Archive currently comprises over 70 photographs from about half a dozen European countries.