Freiraumnutzung: Recherchen vor Ort

(translation: “Free Space Utilization: On-Site Research”)
Staged photography (public art work), 2006
@ Oschatz 51,3° / 13,1°, art project for the 4th Saxon State Garden Show, Oschatz

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4-parts, 2 photographs at each of 2 locations, 100 x 80 cm each; laminated onto 12 mm ESG safety glass sheets (120 x 180 cm), with stainless steel mounts on concrete foundations

In the fall of 2005, with the help of 78 residents of Oschatz and the surrounding area, I developed a series of four staged photographs. The images reveal the insights gained during my extensive on-site research, especially regarding how the people of Oschatz and its immediate surroundings perceive, use, and care for ‘nature’ – a space fraught with competing psychological projections, an area where varying interests intersect.

On the site of the 2006 Saxon State Garden Show, these large-scale images were presented outdoors – i.e. in the constructed natural environment – and have remained beyond the duration of the Garden Show as public artworks. The images (artworks) themselves were not the only outcome of this project; rather, I consider the intangible products to be just as valid, such as the social space that was created during its formation, the conversations that took place, the interactive momentum it had, and the fact that these discussions continue to be relevant.

The highly obvious “hyper-staged quality” (Christina Töpfer) and the densely arranged scenes were not (only) intended to produce a humorous effect, but rather serve as a reference to local differences of opinion and tensions. Thus, the photographs contain many details and allusions to situations that can only be understood by local residents. For example, the persons looking directly into the camera and wearing T-shirts printed with affirmative statements (“I think that’s quite sensible”, “I enjoy that”, “I don’t have a problem with that”, “I’m quite satisfied”) in each staged photo are references to incidents in Oschatz, which I had been told about.

The four staged photographs were taken at the Oschatz town park and at two farms in the area of Oschatz. I worked with Thilo Fröbel (camera) and Robert Thiele (video, assistence), who had also worked with me in 2004 on Pflege: Zwischen Zwangshandlung und kultureller Heldentat.

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