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During the last few years I have created a large collection of found images showing offices and working environments. Several of my projects are based on this collection including the work “Die Kollegen” (The colleagues). Particularly I have been looking for letterings which are placed in offices, corridors, meeting rooms, tea kitchens etc.

Illustrations: Anna Gille

In my work “Die Kollegen” 128 clay figures about 5 cm tall present the texts found.

Diekollegen.cloud is the online version of this work. A platform that simultaneously shows the figures as singularities and as members of a larger mass.

Am I happy with my life? Am I really good? Am I using all my potential? Do I present myself optimally? What is a fulfilled life? My everyday work has the control over this inner discussion. It sets the standards for the evaluation of my self-designed self. When faced with questions, problems, existential fears, in moments of confusion I refer to them, to the chorus of colleagues who speak to me from within.

…be a hero
be a teamplayer
be brave
be calm
be free
be happy
be the change
be the solution
break the rules
break things…

These imperatives are representative of certain powers in the sphere of work, which are focused on self-responsibility, self-optimization and self-exploitation on behalf of the search for one’s own authentic self.

“Die Kollegen” presents demands from the outside, which are internalized – and now materialized in the form of the figures, become a counterpart again. They report on the contradiction of being the result of constant modulations on the one hand and perceiving oneself as an independent individual on the other.

Through the figures the viewer can recognize themself. They offer to be reflections of demands and contradictions we internalize, but also of our vulnerability, loneliness, naivety and our desire to be unique.

“Die Kollegen” can be close to us, we can get advices from them and yet they only send us back to the market. From the sphere of feelings, they encourage us to dedicate ourselves to our work with body and soul.