Christoph Büch & Other
Works 1989 – 2022:
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About my Work

All works have emerged based on the german term ‚Lager‘ in a narrative interplay of words and activities.

The essential impulse, which led to establishing the artist group‚ Lagerstatt‘, was a need for autonomy. We (Thomas Bremer, Helge Knolle and Christoph Büch) wanted to find a form, which can instantaneously make us capable of acting, independent of the approval by third parties, be they institutions or individuals. 
When browsing in an etymology, we found the term ‚Lager‘ and quickly realized, that its range of meaning corresponded the intentions.

Lager
  1. a. A [provisional] domicile or accommodation, arranged for the temporary stay of a huge number of people
    b. Prison camp, penal camp
    c. A short form for concentration camp
  2. a. (dated) bed for the night
    b. (hunters’ jargon) resting spot for certain huntable animals
  3. Sum of people, states or the like, who are on the same side, especially in a political or ideological conflict
  4. a. A place, a space, a building for inventory storage or stock of goods
    b. Stored inventory or stock of goods
    c. (colloquial) a number of people working in a camp
  5. (Geology) enclosed ore, mineral, rock layers
  6. a. (Technology) a machine element, which holds, carries or leads another rotating or swinging machine part
    b. (Civil Engineering) a component, which holds loads (of beams or frames) and transfers these to other supporting bodies
  7. (Biology) the bodies of thallophytes

    http://www.duden.de (12 February, 2016)

Especially the social and time dimensions, which lie in the first meaning, tipped the scales for our choice. Yet “Lagerstatt” seemed more appropriate as the name of our group. On the one had for phonetic reasons and on the other hand, because of its definition as bed for the night.
In December 1989, we built our first camp in 54 Feldstrasse in Hamburg St. Pauli, in a warehouse that we rented. To determine the duration, we built multiples of 4' 33'', under the condition, that we reach at least 3 days. To all of us, this appeared as a necessary time minimum to unfold presence.
After some operations, we made up our minds to go for 75 hours and 33 minutes. Further form giving rules were as following:

  • Camp occupants were not allowed to carry in anything but the clothes they were wearing.
  • The material found at the encampment is being examined and evaluated.
  • During operation, occupants are not allowed to leave the camp.
  • Camp occupants have to ask visitors for food and things of everyday use.

Throughout the years, the members of Lagerstatt have been participating in the project at different scales. Since 2011, I have been working alone.

Christoph Büch, 2016