Return to Paradise

Return to Paradise was written at a time when I was travelling a lot on motorways, mostly as a passenger. I always had my photo camera with me to pass the time. But somehow I was attracted to something that happened to me while I was taking pictures: it appealed to me like a huntress to react immediately and capture the motifs with my camera while the car drove swiftly on. The random locations and the abstract and diffuse, yet very clear images seemed perfectly suited to visualise representative places that are no longer associated with a specific place, but with a specific time. As I would describe myself as a controlled and focused person, it became more and more a concept to leave the control to chance and improvise with the results.”

E.K-H In: Articulaction 2015, S.28

2015, Animation, 3 x C-print, 20 x 20 cm

Besides the biblical paradise, there are many “paradises” such as childhood or home, which are located more in time than in space. The only way to return to these paradises is to remember. However, the process of remembering is exposed to different disorders. This process is comparable to looking for the right radio station that is disrupted by superimposed frequencies or static noises. Likewise, we do not always have access to our memory due to our current physical or mental state. What remains is a vague image that requires a great deal of interpretation.

Local Shiftings, New Gallery in the Höhmannhaus, Augsburg, 2017, exhibition setup

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Drum Bun

What is memory? Nothing else than a collection of data in the long-term memory, which must be neither objective, nor complete, nor true. It is also not always available. But remembering is at the same time a creative process, which has to be reinterpreted again and again and is therefore subject to constant change. The room installation shows 7 processed sheets of paper hanging from the ceiling by a thread. Every breeze created by a passing visitor sets the sheets of paper in motion, so that the view of the work is constantly changing.

Exhibition, Art Award Aichach, 2014
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Utopia Lives Next Door

“Our first project together was Utopia lives next door. We discovered by chance that we were researching our past in the same field and in similar ways: he was recording his grandmother’s memories of her childhood in Vienna, I was recording my father’s memories of his childhood in Timişoara. When we realised that there is a common link between the two cities, anchored in history, we had the idea to create a utopian place where the East meets the West, where the past meets the present. The soundscape composition with field recordings of the two cities and interviews with our relatives was broadcast on Ö1 Kunstradio – Radio Art on 27 December 2015. This was a new field of activity for me. While I was creating a slide show for the project, I encouraged Gerald to travel to Vienna to take some pictures for it, as I had done in Timişoara. I don’t think he had ever planned to get into photography before.”

E.K-H In: Articulaction 2015, S.29
2015 / 2019, Gemeinschaftsprojekt mit Gerald Fiebig, Sound produziert für ORF Kunstradio, Uraufführung 27.12.2015, 22:30 min

“25 years after the end of the Cold War, the political distance between Western Europe (e.g. Austria) and Eastern Europe (e.g. Romania) seems to be increasing again in many respects. But this distorts the fact that there is a lot of shared history, which already becomes evident when looking at the parallels between the cities of Vienna and Timisoara. For their piece Utopia lives next door, the authors move through both cities, inspired by the situationist concept of psychogeographical examination of urban environments by means of “dérive” the deliberately drifting walk through a city. The starting point of the excursions are the quarters Innere Stadt and Josefstadt – due to the shared history, both Vienna and Timisoara have districts with these names. From the field recordings thus collected, the authors compose the soundscape of a utopian city in which the difference between West and East has been erased. Woven into the composition are voice recordings from interviewees recalling instances of lived solidarity under difficult social and political circumstances in Vienna and Timisoara during different phases of the 20th century. Based on shared thematic motifs, the quotes are arranged into a quasi-dialogic relation to each other that offers a glimpse of the possibilities that were at hand, but were missed in the actual history of Austria and Romania. The speakers are Friederike Brenner (born in 1923 in Mödling near Vienna) and Johann Kassnel (born 1932 in Jahrmarkt near Timisoara).”

Gerald Fiebig
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