The Trapdoor
2005 | 26 min | Colour & Black & White | Stereo
Transfer from 9.5mm, 8mm and Super 8 film

The Trapdoor uses amateur film material from around 1920 to 1990 to examine how history—personal and collective—is written and rewritten into ever-changing but cohesive narratives and how re-examining the past brings to light forgotten (or suppressed) material. Family films lend themselves to this end since they are almost always “innocent” attempts at representing their conformity. The trapdoor belongs to stagecraft and allows things to abruptly appear and disappear from the scene… Read More…

ImagiNative: Research as Artistic Strategy
2004 | CD ROM /Web Project

Imaginative-stillImagiNative is a joint web/CD project with Lisl Ponger commissioned by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt for The Black Atlantic exhibition in 2004. We were interested in exploring how images are crucial in forming attitudes and identities in our society and in constructing the identities—imagined, imposed, resisted—of Others. ImagiNative was made in order to contextualize our work, to allow direct insight into the work process itself. As such, it is a sort of ‘reverse engineering’ project which collects together materials from various areas which touch on many of the issues with which we are concerned. These include the production of stereotypes, orientalism, ethnology (and notions such as authentic and inauthentic artefacts and customs), migration, travel and tourism (who travels, and why), racism (and associated pseudo-sciences) and the role of image-making in all of this.

The project is available online in English and German at http://imaginative.lislponger.com/

I_D_Entities
2004 | 13 colour photos (6 digitally altered photos, 7 text images). Each approx. 60 x 70 cm (framed). Image size approx. 40 x 50 cm.

The series re-works 6 hand-coloured photographs from the end of the 19th century showing Heligoland, Norderney and Venice. Inserted into the settings (tourist, travel and holiday destinations) is a single image of a young woman, a Berber from North Africa, probably Algeria. It is taken from a two volume work published in Berlin in 1910 – Das Weib im Leben der Völker by Albert Friedenthal, most “from my own collection,” as the author says.

Interwoven with these historically contiguous elements are seven texts in the form of separate, extended quotations from SCRAM: Relocating under a new Identity by James S. Martin. The short ‘captions’ at the bottom of the photos themselves also come from this source. Published in Washington in 1993, the book is effectively a handbook with legal and not so legal tips about how to divest oneself of one identity and acquire another. Wiping the slate clean. Building a new life. Starting again somewhere else. It demands the total erasure of one life and the assumption of another, justifying it by the fact that the authorities provide the same “service” and relocation possibilities to criminals. Read More…

Traveller’s Tales
2003 | 13 mins | Colour | Sound


Through the use of found footage – outtakes from a decades old documentary about North African nomads – Tim Sharp has fashioned a radical critique of ethnographic filmmaking. In teaming personal narrative and theoretical commentary, he effectively exposes, considers, and undermines the narrative authority of a far from neutral gaze, the making of a postcolonial subject. Read More…

Veiled Threats
2002 | Video installation for three monitors, 1 projector and salt

The point of departure for the four-part video installation […] is a series of fragments of the 35mm film with the title “Tuareg” which was found at a flea market and probably shot around 1970. Tim Sharp’s thoughts revolve around the significance of the discarded, excised images which were of no apparent value for the “real” product which itself remains unknown. Looked at more closely, especially in the light of Sharp’s montage-producing new scenes, these out-takes prove to be informative with regard to the plot for the production of a documentary film. In the first place they are the shots made immediately prior to the “official” takes. They show the clapperboard with scene numbers or the arms of the film crew reaching into the image and they show, above all, the depicted, the Tuareg, in a ”preparatory” state, waiting for their cue. Read More…

Dis·integration
2002 | Frame capture/reproduction from adaptation of Schnitzler’s Liebelei

disintegration-1The photograph is one of the coincidences of material and history that probably happen more often than we notice. In 2001 I was given a number of rolls of old film which had been subjected to fire damage and subsequent water damage. Much of the film was glued together as a result and it continued to deteriorate further at a rapid rate. I managed to determine that it was a copy of an adaptation of Schnitzler’s Liebelei, the title frames disintegrating in my hands. I was able to save a few frames of a woman’s face, discoloured and in the process of dissolution. The image here is one of them. A few weeks later the material was almost totally decomposed and had to be disposed of. Read More…

CHANGE? CHANGE!
2001 | Found object | Pre-Euro double-sided banner advertising currency exchange, black felt marker.
Alternative Rocket Science I
2001 | Mundus stool, alkyd paint

The idea for the object came from the Mexican comic series by Ruis called Los Agachados (The Underdogs) which was ubiquitous in the 1970s. One issue dealt with a postulated Mexican attempt to enter the space race with all the implied political and technological consequences. I thought of making a series of “space” objects, each with a “national” flavour. The discovery of the Mundus Company [Mundus = Latin for “world”] stool here in Austria offered the ideal opportunity. The series went no further. Read More…

This is not a Burning Flag
2000 | Joint project with Lisl Ponger for Museum in Progress [Transact 51] for publication in Der Standard, 23 September 2000

A protest against the Freedom Party (FPÖ) / Austrian Peoples Party (ÖVP) coalition of 2000.

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Sightseeing
1999 | Installation: dimensions variable | 35 objects/paintings; English and German versions | Various materials

Braille 1-1280pxThe project comprises 35 picture-objects made between 1996–98. Each contains a visual and a linguistic element. The latter is in one of two languages, German or English and the “message” is in Braille, a written code based on raised dots to be read with the finger tips. During an exhibition the sighted may only look at the works (as in a normal gallery) while the blind are allowed to explore the works by touch. Since the Braille is greatly enlarged, readers have to re-work their knowledge of space – it is the difference between the page of a book and a house-sized poster. One of the most important aspects of an exhibition of the works is the intended interaction between the sighted and the blind. It is an exchange which illuminates different interpretations of reality. Read More…

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