Return to Paradise

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.

C-Print on Aludibonad. Local Shiftings, New Gallery in the Höhmannhaus, Augsburg, 2017, exhibition setup

Drum Bun

What is memory? Nothing more than a collection of data in long-term memory that is neither objective, nor complete, nor necessarily true. It is also not always available.

But remembering is also a creative process that must always be reinterpreted 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 causes the sheets of paper to rotate, so that they cannot always be seen in their entirety. The result is an overall picture that is fragmentary and constantly changing – just like a memory.

Utopia Lives Next Door

“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)