Ortlos, 1996
Site: Gasometer Oberhausen

My primary interest in the current situation in the Ruhr is how its industial edifices and their machines, which were formerly conceived as functional, have lost their original function through the structural changes in that area. What has remained are bodies whose formal characteristics step into the foreground. In spite of any individuality they may have, they follow certain patterns. As icons of the industiral age they refer to a reality that is increasingly historicised or is already history. This architecture gave the area its original identity. Many edifices that are still present in our minds no longer stand. They have been torn down over the past twenty years in order to repress the old image of the Ruhr.

These stand opposite to as-yet unrealized architecture, economic, space and city planning that are supposed to give the area its new identity. As blue prints, their existence ist relatively shadowy if not sketchy. The past, present and future are immaterial and untangible. We only have access to a present that lies inbetween as indefinable. Everything is in motion, in search of a new place.

For the exhibition ICH PHOENIX - eine Kunstereignis, I re-worked drawings and photographs from various archives into pictogram-like signs until they were ultimately projectable slides.

A rotating stage projector equipped with a circular cartridge and corresponding controls projected onto two embankments, the gasometer and a strip of woods. The projetion appeared either relatively in focus and undistorted according to the postion of its furthest projected distance, or was quickly distorted, fragmented and compressed until only a speck of light was visible at the shortest distance of the projection.

The different perceptable signs of light that wandered through the area during the intervention at the gasometer transformed the architecture and functions that belonged to the past in to placeless and moving memory fragments, and freed them as ambiguous, autonomous forms.

Technical data: Rotating table, stage projector with circular cartridge and controls, 15 slides