The archive of the city of Ringenberg is just a torso: stored in the 2nd World War in a salt mine, it was an explosion, or the following fire, that destroyed most of it. An ammunition factory was also set up in the mine. There are two blue binders left, which can only be studied in tears. After all, tear gas had also been produced, right next to the archives that were supposed to be safe before the sinking. The two files left from the city’s older history provided CVs from a handful of people. Most striking of all was the whimsical policeman, who had repeatedly fallen out of character. Highlight of the city’s history: the knuckle break of the orderkeeper, as noted in the act, quite certainly happened under the influence of a larger amount of alcohol. There was nothing more. The rest sank in the inferno of salt.
The exhibition was dedicated to the fragmentary, ruined history of a place / community. The extraction of salt has decreased. It seemed appropriate to encourage the possibility of a spontaneous crystallization of collective unfinished memory. *
A wooden frame that was once a wall’s construction. An annexe to the parish hall that was used to accommodate first homeless people, then asylum seekers. Just anecdotal details? The school director had secured the frame to possibly work creatively in the classroom. An “initiated” work, so to speak. What to do? The obvious: for the transport from the school to the exhibition site (nothing less than a castle outside the town) a whole class was asked for help: and so the frame was floating like a raft through the city and the suburban streets. What you used to call a happening? The only document is to remain: the photo above. The experiences and experiments in the field of participation can be written inexhaustible. Inclusion of others is probably desirable and invigorating. The limits of fulfilled expectations and assertions should already hint at the way of execution.
Activating and suggesting: selfempowerment to the participants. Yes, the joy was great about a day off, the feeling of something strange, special, of participation in probably all awake. The function of the figure of the artist can be experienced in such constellations again and again, not surprisingly. The wannabe auratic charge of the material is probably there, ultimately limited. But yes: we, they, carried the former house wall on foot to the castle. The more than 30 minds of those involved…were probably haunted by the most diverse speculations about the importance of this event. The added was calculated.
Simultaneously with the extended stay at the castle in Ringenberg, an exhibition around an art prize took place in Vienna. While working in the small German town, an “alive” experience, a community were activated. While here, in the goastish context of art world’s rituals, a faithful copy of the wooden frame, that was carried in the Ringenberg procession, was made. The installation has been copied. In addition to a facsimile version of the photo of the procession, another photo was shown. A photographer was hired to deliver the document, which in the Viennese trial should correspond to the moment with the Ringenberg school class. Photographer and carpenter had some tea. The prize was won by somebody else.