Site-specific work done in the frame of a group exhibition in an abandoned Villa from the 14th Vienna district. For the work, I spend 2 weeks in the house and worked with what I found in the house plus a number of items from personal inventory. The innteraction with the house started from the premessis of it being a living organism.
The concept revolved around the idea of the ‘uncanny’, as seen in this quote: “ (…)‘that class of frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar’. We have to remember that Freud’s uncanny is actually the ‘unheimlich’, the unhomed or that which is not at home. Both its frightening and its familiar qualities come from its awkward relation to being not at home, to the ‘strangeness’ which that condition assumes.” (Irit Rogoff –terra infirma)
Working in different places in the house and leaving ‘traces’ from the lives of the imaginary character Mr. Frehsic and his wife. However, I did not interfere very much with the given space, but only specific places were cleaned and made into a ‘window’ of the past /future. I worked with the levels of the house worked as consciousness stages.
As one walked through the house, the name FRESIC become visible as ‚Fischer‘, one of the last persons to live there. Frau Fischer feeds her cats at regular hours each day, every day. She has left the house and returns ghastly to the cats which have not (left)…Yet, in the eerie life of fam. FRESIC, Frau F. is not the same. She is imaginary, she is a projection, she is a double.
She has lived there, no doubt, for traces have been left enough. The kitchen, a nature morte painting. The powder room. The bathroom, where Ms F. likes to have her dry vermouth on a full moon evening… or is it something else going on there. Shattered glasses – the zersplittert body. The Keller, subconscious per se…the levels of the house as consciousness stages.
The Keller contained a sound piece coming from the white broken stove. I recorded my steps in the hause and combined it with a sequence from ‚Plesantville (1998), the all well-known „honey, I‘m home“ line. Also spring birds were singing from the oven. The dark room and the loop of the sounds gave a very ‚uncanny‘ feeling when exploring the Keller.
The dead animals from the ‚natura morte‘ kitchen composition came from the bath-tube where i found them, probably brought there by Ms. Fischer‘s cats. The snail shells filling the kitchen shelves were collected from the garden, which, being abandoned as well has become a snail-paradise.
Images when not otherwise specifyed: ©Alexandra Tatar
enter each room for details: