The bus lines of Weimar go from 1 to 9. Mysteriously Bus #4 has disappeared. This absence is taken as the excuse to create an imaginary journey that will come to life when performed by the audience.
The work consists of a book and a route composed of eleven interventions in public space. The book serves as a kind of spatial and conceptual ‘guide’. It is composed of a map, a series of instructions, and some images that not only help the participant find the way but also awaken his sight. Leaving enough room for the viewer’s imagination and the unexpected, to be rendered within the given information. Hence making every journey different for each person.
Each intervention is developed specifically for the location and mostly with what is already there; in a subtle way that allows it to become part of the site itself. Thus the audience is challenged to observe the spaces intensely and in surprising ways, since they don’t know exactly what they are looking for.
In this engagement the piece is fulfilled. Places that often go unnoticed are deeply explored and for a brief moment come to life. The small interventions interrupt the urban grid and reveal the beauty of the ordinary. And as the participants move through the route, they experience the city with different eyes. While time goes by the spaces will change and, the experience will continue to rewrite itself in the memory of the spectators.
I took part in DMY a design fair in Berlin. I was asked to make an intervention with my yellow signs. These are some images of how they conquered the area around the Berlin Arena. The playful interruption calls attention to the wild life that germinates unnoticed in the streets and, offers a gap to look in an unexpected way.
I was invited last winter to a group exhibition in Worpswede, a small town in the north of germany, very close to the city of Bremen. The idea was to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the death of painter Paula Modersohn - Becker.
After intensly walking the streets of worpswede in search of a potential space to work in, I found my self looking at the enourmous amount of street signs that crowd the view of the streets, telling you where and how to look and move through space. On one of those attempts at getting lost I found myself looking at the signs themselves, at the amount, at the shapes, at the information they carry and then, in that common place, in an unexpected turn, at the grey space hidden in their backside, at the grey surfaces that are always there but somehow invisible, camouflaged within the constructed landscape we are so used to.
Then started the question of what to do with this realization, of how to make this space 'alive' but yet undisturbed. But how to point at something without intruding it? when there is so many information already why does it make sense to add more?
Somehow on the process I had to overcome this questions, I guess is very true that the space is overcrowded, but when a poetic gap is opened, you can see something in a different way. As artists I think we have the power to interrupt the everyday, the people, the flow of something, to make something else visible; a brief moment of understanding that perhaps turns into a story, a comment, a conversation, perhaps only you change but certainly at the end energy is moving.
In a delicate but subversive way I use this forgotten space to question and subvert the functionality and language of signs in public space; through small subtle interventions I try to silently make visible this spaces, delicately inhabiting them and thus leading to a new direction in the streets.
Over the period of one week I work on the Grey surface of the street signs of one street in Worpswede, Germany (the Bergstraße). The signs where cleaned and in some cases adhesive vinyl cuts where applied, in others the drawings where made in the spot, with ink pens or by the cleaning itself. At the end it was as if the ’nature’ was taking over the constructed ‘landscape’ again. July 2007.
Variable dimensions. Adhesive vinyl cuts, ink, found dirt and moos on the backside of street signs. Worpswede (Bergstraße), Germany. July 2007
*This work is part of the exhibition 'Life goes Public' /10 public art interventions to update Paula Modersohn-Becker in Worpswede". within the context of the project: Leben! PMB in Worpswede. July2007-February 2008.
"a circumstacial mistake lead to an unraveling mistery trying to unfold a piece of paper while you see it turn into something else"
This summer I joined a class called 'Information Places // Sensing Place' I guess you can already get alot from the name. Anyway, in brief detail, we where asked to developed a project around the idea of information and its relation with space and how we perceive it, departing from our own personal research. On second hand we where given an entire exhibition building designed by Bauhaus architect Ernst Neufert in which the final research would be displayed. A square building of 10m x 10m x 10m, designed in such a way that on the inside you find 12 different levels (around 20 square meters per level), so each one of us basically had one level to display their work.
While being on the exhibition space I started to think how to metaphorically erase the structure so that you could 'see' what was behind. After a lot of brainstorming and dialog with the space I decided to chose a fixed point on my level (from where the spectator will look at the work) and to re-draw all the view that was hidden by the walls, onto them, with the view of two windows as reference to strengthen the sensation. On the end you would see the lines of the drawing meeting the existing lines outside and thus for a brief moment a kind of in-between space was created.
So the outside was recreated inside thus offering awareness of the space itself but also of the lanscape that otherwise would remain almost invisible.
Variable dimensions. Chalk, strings, nails, tape and transparent adhesive vinyl applied on walls.
*This work was part of the exhibition: "Information Places", within the 'Medien Rundgang', Bauhaus Universität. Weimar, Germany. July 2007.
...as found on the streets of Weimar. *part of thesis research
"En un cuento de Cortázar se narra lo que podríamos considerar como un buen día para la percepción en el entorno de la ciudad. El protagonista del cuento efectúa su rutinario viaje matutino disfrutando con su imaginación, a la que le ha dado por retener tan sólo partes de lo que el ojo va captando, abstrayendo la realidad. En un momento dado ve desfilar solamente las orejas de la gente, luego, sólo botones de chaquetas, más tarde abstrae la comida bajando por los aparatos digestivos, etc. Aunque felíz, el día acaba mal para él, pues pierde su trabajo por continuar ensimismado el juego aún dentro del entorno laboral. Si al parecer una percepción poética así no encuentra en la ciudad su lugar natural, está claro que al menos esta dificultad genera un disfrute característico. Llegar a un estado de percepción poética notable, en una ciudad conocida, requiere un esfuerzo especial, pues el "estado vacacional del espíritu", como lo llama Agnes Martin, que permite esta mirada poética, necesita entre otras cosas una inversión de tiempo que la ciudad nos suele robar descaradamente."
For the complete article go to:
A former shopping center called “am Inselplatz” served as the starting point for exploring the idea of light and architecture in the city of Jena, Germany. Opened only one month before the wall came down and now empty for several years, this immense entity seems to have reached a profound state of invisibility. Covered by graffiti, posters, wild plants and construction materials; the place constantly portraits the failure of its own structure. And thus becomes a place deprived of any potential use due to its own nature and its advanced state of neglect.
In the back of the building four light spots hanging from the façade were found, pointing to a previously used advertisement wall, but today there is nothing to be illuminated. So was triggered the question of how a small action can make a whole space change and in someway unveil how alive a structure can be.
For this intervention the entire wall was ‘cleaned’ by painting it completely in white and the four light spots were lit again, using a nearby street lamp as the power supply. For the duration of the exhibition the wall became an empty lit screen, a place for imagination, a portrayal of the state of the building, of this constant wait, when everything is there for something to happen but it actually never does.
Still, the structure waits, for something that perhaps is coming soon…
+ This work was part of the exhibition Wackelkontakt (Loose Contact, Illuminating the Public Sphere) in the city of Jena, Germany. A collaboration between the MFA of Public Art and New Artistic Strategies, Bauhaus Unversität in Weimar, Germany; Jenoptik AG and the Jenaer Kunstverein e.V. February 2-17, 2007.
This is a backup plan I had when things started to look really bad with permissions and the technical needs for my project. I still like this idea, we will see if I can make it happen :) Im actually thinking on doing a couple of other things in this place with to very dear friends I meet here. Sandra and Naya, lets start working!!
Ok, so here is how the story goes. Our project for the semester had the theme of 'light and architecture', a bit crazy but anyway, and we where working in the city of Jena, just 15min by train from Weimar.
There are a lot of funny and annoying stories about this building that we went to look just because the name of the place was "inselplatz", insel is island in German and we thought it was interesting. Well, as it turned out it definitely was! If you want to look at some more images of the place you can check this link:
We where going a little bit crazy with our projects so one of our professors decided to make this activity to loosen up a bit of the tension. We where given an envelope that reads as follows:
Instant Interventions (5th of Dec. 2006)
Look for a spot or situation in you near surrounding that triggers your imagination. Change it, highlight it, comment on it with a site-specific intervention. Be economic in terms of time and duration – easy does it. Take this as a mental and artistic ‘stretching’, a playful exercise of improvisation in comparison with the work in Jena. “Entertain” yourself – and hopefully others too.
Material: free choice, all you can buy for € 5 or more
When: 3 hours from now on, meeting again at 13:00 in the MFA
Where: outside the MFA within a walking distance of not longer than 10 minutes, on a location of your choice.
How: instant, intelligent, sensible, poetic, open minded……. realizable
Try to be open but concentrated. Be playful, allow spontaneity. Be alert to situations you find in the city. Use the eye, not only the brain. Try to develop the work from the location as a starting point. Work rather like a poet than like a scientist.
We will meet again at 13.00 in the MFA rooms to then go together to the different locations.
Jesse Hemminger one of my colleagues and I where interest in the same location and decided to work together. This is what came out of it, after funnly losing much time thinking about the paint color we should use for the doors jaja.
Within the flower market frame we experimented with our little yellow signs, as a more spontaneous reaction to the place, with this idea of how a simple action can be so full of meaning, which turned out to be very interesting especially for the type of event.
I decided to repeat the action once more but this time condensed in one space, which I thought would perhaps allow for it to generate another space and somehow make the action more powerful.
For this purpose I choose a plot of land between two streets, that makes the space of a crossing, something that work on my favor since the cars have to stop at this point allowing the piece to address an unexpected audience.
Variable dimensions. Yellow plastic tags on the street and existing weeds.
Since sometimes I work with plants I was invited by the organizers of the 10th Flower Market in Weimar, 2006; for a one-day intervention. I decided to collaborate with one of my colleagues and dear friend Andrea Sirch (Germany). And this is what came out if it. The following text was written for the catalog of the Master project “Weimar, day to day”.
Two impulses negotiate this reflection over nature in the urban sphere; on one hand, a surreal displacement of place and position between our body and the grass when it is brought to the table and the benches and on the other, a subtle gesture that calls attention on the wild life that germinates unnoticed in between the stones, a delicate comment on misplaced values and ownership over public space.
??¿./¿Can unexpected playful interruptions in the routine of common everyday activities generate new ways of relating to the immediate environment??. . . …\\^?¿?
Variable dimensions. Rolled grass on chicken wire and yellow plastic tags. Weimar, Germany. 2006