re: The Great Archive


In 1993 Dreyblatt built an object for an exhibition at the Ozwei Gallery in Berlin which I called the "Great Archive" (Das Große Archiv), in which he attempted to objectify "hypertext" as a three-dimensional image. A black box approximately 1.5m. high, .4m. wide and 1.2m. long and painted black, is divided by four lateral sheets of Plexiglas sandwiching clear plastic sheets inscribed from edge to edge with layers of finely printed texts. (The uppermost text layer being the top of the box). The layers of texts are illuminated from below. The texts were constructed from the tens of thousands of biographical fragments which he renovated from the "Who's Who in Central & East Europe".

As one peers into this "sea of information", it is as if one stares into a bottomless well filled with layers of floating texts in depth. One focuses with one's eyes on any given text fragment on a given level, as the other text levels defocus and blur. one's attention might wander to a deeper or nearer fragment, the eyes continually refocusing as one isolates and "links" a related or unrelated name or phrase. It was his intention here to realize, in three dimensions, a "hypertext" as a metaphorical space which contains in compressed form a database of all mankind.
This "Great Archive" was first shown with an exhibition by Arnold Dreyblatt in the
Ozwei Gallery in Berlin, and has also been shown at the Jewish Museum in Vienna and the National Gallery in Prague.


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