Phase II of ‘a little bit of austrai’ involves planning a house for the land in Austria. For that I am setting up an office like framework in the gallery of S1 Artspace where I am continuing my work as part of my MA Fine Art final exhibition. I am working here Monday to Friday from 10am – 3pm and seeking dialogue with the audience. In addition there are A4 forms with the plan of the land and the question: “What would your house on this land look like?” Provisions of drinks are part of the overall structure of the work and generate a relaxed atmosphere for dialogue as well as serving as a thank you for being here.
I am planning to invite people to a long table discussion in the gallery were I will present the project up to its current stage and open up dialogue about the project itself.
‘A little bit of Austria’ (phase I): During my two weeks residency in Austria I spent time on the 1.136m2 piece of land at different times of the day. There is a graveyard to the north, a big field that separates the land from some factories to the west, a white cube house to the south and a couple of older family houses to the east. I sat in the middle of the land writing down what is going on around it, making sound recordings, a sun dial and talk to the local community.
There where people coming and going to and from the graveyard, few cars driving past along Fabriksstrasse to the north, some dog walkers coming up Stifterstrasse to the east and that’s it. Very quiet.
The sound recordings I made contain mainly birds singing and the occational car in the distance. A group of children helped me to make a sun dial. We cleared an area in the middle of the land, arranged 13 stones in a half circle and added a stick. I’m always impressed by the simplicity of it and it really works. My two sons and I collected al the types of plants that grow there, pressed them and looked up their names.
A selection of images show the different moods of the land. My favourite view is over to the west where you can see the outlines of some factory buildings with their funny metal shapes sticking up into the sky. I love the fact that there is a graveyard to the north; a certain peacefulness comes from there.
I met the very nice family who build a white cube house to the south of the land; I chatted frequently to the elderly lady who lives with her son and cat to the east. Passers by frequently commented on me sitting in my read metal chair in the middle of the land.
Towards the end of my stay I had people visiting me on the land, some repeatedly.