The investigation of our own archive started with the exhibition «WO WIR», which was on view at the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen from 12 December 2020 – 25 April 2021. For the duration of the exhibition, documents were made publicly accessible in the form of a working station and the development of the work process was made visible: images were digitised, documents were reinterpreted and questions were raised.
As a digital extension of the physical working station, the archive page serves as a vehicle to provide insights into our work processes and to initiate further discussions. It is not intended as a fixed order but as a processual investigation of Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen against the backdrop of historical, socio-political and cultural issues. The entries are loosely arranged around thematic focal points and do not follow any temporal or conceptual logic.
Visibility is of essential importance in our work in many respects. Especially because the main goal of the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen as a platform is to give visibility to the work of national and international artists. Against this background, the homepage plays an important role, as it makes the exhibitions accessible to those who have not had the opportunity to visit them. Until 2010, most of the exhibitions were documented in analogue form and could therefore not be viewed online. For this reason, we have compiled our images (so far a total of 1,930 slides) and had it digitised. We have already been able to upload a large part of this collection to the exhibition archive and it will be successively added to.
In addition, the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen is a founding member of Contemporary Art Library, a free online repository for contemporary art documentation by Contemporary Art Daily. The library, which contains more than 370,000 images, documents and videos, includes past exhibitions of the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, currently covering a period of the last ten years.
The Lagerhaus on Davidstrasse, built in 1903 by master builder Max Hoegger, where the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen has been located since 1992, carries many stories. The building was designed by the architect Alfred Cuttat and served as a customs house and warehouse until the 1980s. Many companies still known in the city today rented storage space here. The Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen is trying to work through the history of the building and especially its premises on the ground floor at Davidstrasse 40. Who stored and worked here? What was stored? How has the Lagerhaus changed over time in terms of function, construction and use?
These questions lead us to various archives where we found documents that were thought to have disappeared and thus expand our perception of the history of the Lagerhaus piece by piece. We deal with the history of these premises in order to place ourselves at this cultural location and to understand the historical conditions of the Lagerhaus.