Abriss, 2012/13 / Varied edition of 10 / In German, French & English / Archival inkjet printing & collage on Dobbin Mill papers with embedded & pulped detritus from NYC streets
Size: 18.25” x 19.25” x 1.5”
From the Pratt Institute Libraries Special Collections
French translation by Carole Naggar
German translation by Cynthia Peck-Kubaczek
Abriss-(kante) is German for the tear-off edge or stub
Abriss, a nonlinear combination of installation, performance, and the book,
is a result of my ambulatory mapping of New York City. Since 2009, I have
created hundreds of postings that I’ve placed in specific locations around the
city. These postings engage the viewer in a discourse on the psycho-geography of place and memory. I call this practice Anamnesis – which means the opposite of forgetting – or as Socrates determined: What one perceives to be learning, then, is actually the recovery of what one has forgotten.
Abriss is a sequence of these flyers, designed first as an installation for a 2011 exhibition in Lower Austria. Each copy in the varied edition contains the same text, images in the same sequence, but they differ in materials: To activate the substrate, each page contains paper detritus that I collected on an earlier walk & then incorporated into the paper I made at Dobbin Mill, either as inclusions or actual pulp. A Serbian fairy tale, The Goat Ears, explains that the earth cannot keep secrets, reminding us that the concept of privacy is at best temporal and relative.
These flyers are dimensional to the touch; they are usually translucent, hard surfaced and layered; they have a rattle-sound when turned. Not only are they multi-sensorial but the referent of a location in NYC has been made physical within the paper itself, by incorporating the detritus. Abriss, therefore, is the residue or evidence of the act of my ambulatory mapping cum colportage.
Since the grangerized pages vary between copies in terms of found material, it made perfect sense to me that the language (text & image) were variable. The original or first copy was in fact in German – since the postings were made for an exhibition in a Benedictine monastery in Lower Austria – so yes, the audience informed the language. I then made English copies – due to a request from a collector. Finally the French was requested for a collection.. Having grown up in Montreal, Quebec and lived 3 years in Vienna, Austria, I feel strongly that the 3 languages are part of who I am. Abriss is, in essence, a psycho-geographical mapping, in terms of place, memory, time & of language.