Tag Archives: history
Demolition of Aspang Station 2003
2005 | Large format slide in light box (50cm x 40cm) and 2m measuring rod divided into black and white sections of 10 cm

Installation-view-2005Built in the last quarter of the nineteenth century the Aspang Station was part of the Vienna – Thessalonica railway project. From 1939 to 1942 it was the station from which over 47 train loads of Viennese Jews were deported – over 50,000 people. After the war and Austrian independence the station went into slow decline till it was eventually demolished in 2001 and the site scheduled to be part of a large-scale redevelopment project.

reconstructing-50x60The sight of machines removing the tracks and digging trenches into the former platforms seemed particularly evocative especially since the safety barriers round the excavation had the same colours as the Austrian flag. With issues of restitution and memorialisation still being debated in Austria, the visual image also resonated up with the historically racist elements of Western tradition – measuring and classifying “races” and assigning them a position on a scale of purported civilisation. The US laws classifying anyone with “one drop of black blood” as non-white; legal sterilisations carried out on Native Americans and asylum patients into the 1970s; the invention and propagation of the pseudo-science of eugenics throughout Europe, etc. Read More…

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…

The Peter Kien Project
1992 | Installation: dimensions variable | Approx. 150 objects | Paper mache, metal grid, clay, alkyd paint, wax, dyes etc.

The installation investigates the weighting of textual/documentation material in connection with (allegedly) archaeological objects and the story of the find. The fragmentary text follows the story of the find, theft and subsequent purchase of materials which are brought together for the first time at some point in the not too distant future. Read More…