SITUATION #26: Susanne Bürner, Vanishing Point, 2006–2011
5 December 2015 – 31 January 2016
How to Disappear in America without a Trace, 2006/2009 © Susanne Bürner
How to Disappear in China, 2011 © Susanne Bürner
Susanne Bürner’s Vanishing Point provides exact instructions on going underground in American society (2006) and obliterating all traces of one’s past – to leave one’s old life behind and disappear forever. Practical suggestions form the basis of a handbook and a personally intoned travelogue about life on the fringes of social visibility. The text is complemented by photographs of the landscapes and towns possibly traversed and people potentially encountered – all seemingly distant, indefinite, unrecognizable.
Vanishing Point: How to Disappear in America without a Trace, which appeared in 2006 under the name of the artist and was adapted for China in 2011 (How to Disappear in China), was originally penned by an author who published the text anonymously on the website www.skeptictank.org. The mysterious origins of the text as well as its appropriation and circulation sets Vanishing Point apart from the handbooks of the nineteen-sixties, which developed strategies for dropping out of society in the wake of the protest movement. Vanishing Point tells of a fictional existence, one that is constantly being pursued. Whether this persecutor is real or simply imaginary, how can we disappear today without a trace – wiping out not only our past, but also our digital simulacra?
Both the English and Chinese version of Susanne Bürner’s Vanishing Point are available in the Fotomuseum shop.