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What's on your desk, Chris Müller?

Magazine contact #23

Chris Müller doesn’t fit into any box. At first he worked as a carpenter, staircase builder and machine operator in the drinks and bakery industry. Then he lived in Berlin as a conceptual artist and roadie. Today the 43-year-old is a project developer, theatre maker and artistic director at Tabakfabrik Linz in Austria.

“Cigarettes haven’t been manufactured here for a long time now,” says Müller. “Since tobacco production was discontinued in 2009, the area has served as a factory of ideas for art and the creative industry. My vision is for a Linz-based creative laboratory for 007, Lara Croft and Dirty Harry.” His office is located in what is known as Bau 3 (Building 3), the former logistics centre of the company Austria Tabak. Where once palettes full of cigarettes were stored and loaded onto trucks, Müller today ruminates over the site’s future. His idiosyncratic office on the ground floor which he himself describes as a heterotopia using the word of Michel Foucault, still breathes the white and turquoise chic of the Eighties. “That suits me perfectly. I always had a soft spot for Nena, Codo and Miami Vice. And this office really reminds me of Don Johnson with his white suit and turquoise socks.” Müller goes over to the window, climbs on the prayer bench and looks out at the Donaulände Park. “This office still has genuine shoulder pads. As is only right and proper!” 

Wojciech Czaja visiting Chris Müller

 

1. The table comes from my house in the Hausruck Mountains. It’s a souvenir from India. It always makes me feel at home in my office.

2. The white shag rug comes from my beloved Granny Wilma. A nice keepsake made of polyester.

3. In my office, Utopias are constructed. These require careful planning on blueprint rolls.

4. A plan cabinet full of ideas and snippets of thought.

5. In past times, sailors were allowed to have a swallow tattooed on their arms as soon as they had covered 5,000 nautical miles. I have a swallow on my forearm too. I’ve already come a long way in my life.

6. I have a crow. Or maybe it should be a bat in my belfry?

7. The folder contains my staff’s holiday applications which I still need to sign.

8. I don’t have any particular affinity with my Apple laptop. But it looks good.

9. This is my archive and repository. The books are arranged by topics. I’m always tearing out pages that I need for mood boards and presentations.

10. The lion chair is so ugly and corny that I quite like it.

11. The prayer bench comes from a stage play. I need it so I can look out from this enormously high parapet.

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