With / Without a Claim to Completeness – Rare Wooden Library

January 25, 2015 to March 22, 2015

Starting on January 25, one of the two wooden libraries still extant in Switzerland will be exhibited in the Sitterwerk. For the exhibition «Mit / Ohne Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit» (With / Without a Claim to Completeness), the graphic designers Annett Höland and Yves Schweizer obtained the opportunity to present the «Clais’sche Holzbibliothek», which was produced by the Benedictine monk Candid Huber from Ebersberg in Bavaria for Johann Sebastian Clais around 1790. Clais donated his wooden library to the City of Winterthur in 1795 as «Gabe der Dankbarkeit» (gift of gratitude) for citizenship. Since conserving it was a cause of concern for city leaders, they decided to replace the wooden books with «proper» ones in 1813 and the wooden library came into the possession of the Sulzer zu Aadorf family. In 1950, the wooden library then came to the Naturmuseum Winterthur. «Mit / Ohne Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit» in the Sitterwerk makes the rare wooden library accessible to a larger public. Through embedding it in the environment of the Sitterwerk, the exhibition separates it from a purely historical context. As a collection of wood and other elements from various tree species, with each species contained in a wooden box in the form of a book, it represents a connection between material and book in an exemplary manner. Through positioning the exhibition at the interface of the Material Archive and the Art Library, Annett Höland and Yves Schweizer bring the so-called xylotheque into the present time. They contrast the historical wooden library’s attempt to create order with the innovative approach to a contemporary knowledge system as represented by the Material Archive and the Art Library. The wooden library dates back to the late eighteenth century, when the taking stock of species was seen as a finite undertaking. It was believed that precisely observing, collecting, naming, and ordering natural phenomena made it possible to uncover the secrets of nature. Above all Candid Huber, whose working method was considered to be the most scientific among the makers of wooden libraries. In the Sitterwerk, his efforts to create order encounter the system of order in the Art Library, which is today set up as a dynamic order and shaped by the principle of serendipity by means of radio frequency technology (RFID). With «Bibliozine», the Sitterwerk’s most recent project, another step toward future-oriented and cross-media knowledge order is being made. The augmented research possibilities that the sensitive worktable opens up are also integrated within the supporting program for the exhibition. Interested visitors and school classes are invited to do research within the framework of the exhibition in the Sitterwerk.

The exhibition is supported by the Arnold Billwiller Stiftung, St.Gallen, the Canton of St.Gallen, the H.E.M. Stiftung, Vaduz, as well as by the Naturmuseum Winterthur, Druckerei Oberholzer AG and the Verband Schweizerischer Schreinermeister und Möbelfabrikanten (VSSM, Swiss Association of Carpenters and Furniture Manufacturers).

Opening: Sunday, January 25, 2015, 2 to 6 pm
3 pm: Introduction
Hans-Konrad Schmutz, Conservator of the Naturmuseum Winterthur and the exhibition organizers, Annett Höland and Yves Schweizeras well as a short presentation by Monika Mündel, curator of the special exhibition on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the death of Candid Huber at the Museum Wald und Umwelt in Ebersberg.

Discussion evenings
Starting at 6:30 pm, with bar

Wed. February 11, 2015: Mirko Baselgia, visual artist, «Die Königin des Pflanzenreiches» (Queen of the Plant Kingdom)
Wed. March 4, 2015: Ueli Vogt, curator of the Zeughaus Teufen, gardener, architect, and collector, «Original und Imitat»
Wed. March 18, 2015: Felice Crottogini, forest engineer at the St.Gallen Cantonal Forestry Office and responsible for forestry training and further education in the Canton of St.Gallen, «Herbarium – aktuelles Lerninstrument in der Forstwartausbildung» (Herbarium – Current Learning Instrument for Training Forest Workers)

Workshop at the Bibliothek Andreas Züst on March 14/15
A workshop with Markus Müller is taking place at the Bibliothek Andreas Züst (Andreas Züst Library) on March 14/15 with the exhibition in the Sitterwerk serving as its starting point. The topic is illusionistic painting. Under the guidance the artist, various techniques for portraying wood will be tried and tested. Wood samples from the Material Archive of the Sitterwerk as well as timber elements at the Alpenhof serve as models. The start of the workshop takes place in the Sitterwerk. The workshop ends at the St.Anton Pass in Oberegg. Registration required by March 8.

Invitation and Program