22 10 07
what is a terrortorium without a flag ?
One tram stop away from the street where I am living Favoriten- Street is crossing Klausenburger- Street. But there is not only a street name in Vienna which reminds me to Cluj, we have a Cluj-based art institution, the Studio Protokoll as guest here on the occasion of a cooperation project together with the "home base" IG Bildende Kunst. The two curators Attila Tordai-S. and Dagmar Höss choose six artists, that means the labours of Eva Brunner Szabo, Andrea Faciu, Gregor Graf, Ciprian Muresan, Pia Schauenburg and Peter Szabo, and worked out an exhibition which is at the moment shown in the gallery of the IG in Gumpendorfer- Street. An exhibition in Cluj will follow.
Where are those perspectives? For sure I had enough time to search for them: I took part in a workshop dealing with social security of artists held by two friends (Andrea Salzmann and Daniela Koweindl) in the gallery space, visited the opening of the exhibition, changed some words with two artists and went to the show again a third time - and must confess, I cannot find these national perspectives (maybe with exception in the work of Eva Brunner Szabo, who used some statistical data of Austria for her running text on a light emitting Diode. For example we get informed about the fact that in 2006 in Austria "the proportional relationship between tourists and refugees is 1385:1" ). Let me supply a proofed Austrian perspective in addition which I found in literature, which maybe helps us to see the differences. A dialogue between two works - the one which is set into the centre of the exhibition is taken here as an example to be confined to. It started already in the 19th century...
"in a time which was up against the believe in miracles of the Bible more and more reserved, the mythological language created a real Eldorado. An End of this wave is in sight by no means." Adolf Holl, an Austrian writer, is describing here the birth of the phenomenon of crime novels which should be seen as part of our contemporary myths. In his essay he gives us some famous examples of crime novel heroes, those brave fighters against demons and monsters, against the Bad. And he names James Bond - the hero who is analysed by Pia Schauenburgs work too. The theologian Holl believes that the secret agent is an extra-ordinary hero (quasi an extra-extraordinary man, a super-ordinary/ e.st. ) because he is impressive through his technical perfectionism. He thinks that "regarding the history of religion James Bond is already approaching the figure of the so- called Trickster, a mythological character with moral ambivalence: it shows both good and bad qualities."
denn wenn es gäbe nur 5
A couple of human beings in a much more lively situation is pictured in a corresponding work put next to the Terrortorium in a vivid contrast. 5 young men -strictly speaking 4, the fifth is the photographer- appear on the human flag of Andrea Faciu, a series of 5 flags in 5 different sizes. A photo of the family album of the artist has been reproduced and: "of course there is a nice little story connected to it, how the five friends leave the city - it` s Bucharest - and skip college classes travelling around through the mountains in the mid-1970s". Andrea Faciu told me that she is very glad about the fact that the human flag itself has already been on tour in several European countries. The labour is dealing with movement: we see four young men and the fifth behind the camera leaving a city, full of joy in the moment of reaching the top of a mountain, in the faces we see "everything that has to do with the here-and-now, with surmounting, with victory, pride, joy, a sense of belonging, friendship, courage, carefreeness from everyday troubles ... and of course with a bit of foolishness or ignorance of what tomorrow might bring." - and we can read at least 5 sentences on the flags, translated into English, German, Italian and Romanian: there is the human flag for full bellies, the next is the one against empty bottles, the third is for unpredictability, one against starving souls and the last for day dreams. Maybe there is a reader under us who could use a professionally made flag at the next Euro-May-Day parade? Andrea Faciu would sell it as she confirmed.
Thanks to Fred Büchel for remembering Brecht