Leck, 2012

Basel 2017
Sies + Höke
Schlecker discount, noise of the checkstand
200.0 x 1500.0 x 600.0 (cm)
78.7 x 590.6 x 236.2 (inch)
The complete furnishings of a branch of former German chain store Schlecker have been transformed into an installation by Berlinbased artist-duo FORT (Alberta Niemann and Jenny Kropp). What was once Europe’s largest drugstore chain (cosmetics, health care, and household products), comprising more than 14,000 branches and 50,000 employees, shut down completely in Germany in 2012. All employees were dismissed, and abandoned Schlecker shops with empty shelves and bare walls bore witness to this economic disaster. Staging absence in complex near-replicas of everyday life plays a central role in the work of FORT, as well as arranging places and objects that seem familiar and eerie at the same time. Here, the naked shelves and empty display surfaces, dipped in cold neon light, appear like a preserved skeleton, telling of a bygone era. The apocalyptic atmosphere is reinforced by the mechanical noise of a checkout belt that runs aimlessly. Confronting the viewers with the remnants of this ultimate collapse, the work critically reflects upon both the social consequences of business failure and the relationship between art and economy. Leck was originally conceived and realized together with Anna Jandt in 2012.