Audio play in five chapters (31,00”), picture artefact, 2013
Chapter 1: Mother, 4’14” | Chapter 2: Somwhere in the snow, 3’25” | Chapter 3: On the high seas, 8’54” | Chapter 4: The apple, 10’13” | Chapter 5: In the flat land, 3’49” – Text spoken by: Anna-Katharina Müller, Audiomastering: Marcel Vaid – Studio LIFT Zurich
[…] I do not want to apologise. I do not want to apologise for you. And this is exactly what shocks me. Thus, nothing further remains than looking for answers to my questions in the middle of this collection of told stories, these many pictures and documents. Finding these answers on my own. And if I am honest, I know that I will never find the answers. Since the kind of truth that I was expecting to find, does not exist. Maybe I should stop my search now and leave the story the way I remember it. […] Extract from the Audioplay
«An image of ignorance» is an audio play in five chapters which visitors of the exhibition can listen to while sitting on a bench. A subdued female voice retells a part of an orally transmitted life story of a man who followed the myth of solidarity and belief. It is a story about the unspoken and ignorance.
Source material for the textsform the memories of the artist about conversations with her grandfather about his life and ideals in the time between around 1920 and 1949. But further reports from family members and friends about him and that time are also woven into the texts. Told from different perspectives – each chapter of the play represents another perspective – the image of a man is revealed which remains ambivalent, contradictory and incomplete. The superposition of the different narrative levels does not create a clear picture of a man but keep him blurred.
A picture hanging on the opposite wall is also part of the work, which carries the title «In the flat land». It is a photography mounted on canvas of the home village of the man represented in the audio play. Nicole Biermaier sees the picture as a kind of «artefact» which also assumes the function of an object conjuring up emotions. This seems to propose a reflection about the documentary form itself. While the village almost disappears in the horizon in the background, a wintery snow-covered field can be seen in the foreground. Where does this recognition lead us, though? We cannot really see the village, and what we can see remains puzzling: in its clarity all the same quite «blurred ». As Hito Steyerl writes «The more precisely we attempt to capture the essence of documentary form, the more it escapes into the fog of vague conceptualities. This terminology – words such as truth, objectivity, reality – is equally blurred […]. Their main common characteristic is the lack of a binding definition.» For Hito Steyerl, this incertitude is not connoted negatively, but the «decisive characteristic of documentary forms»
Text by Irene Grillo