PLAN B, Utopia Realis / Ursula Röck & Martin Berger / Kehrer Verlag
"FALSONI" PHOTOGRAPHIC LIGHT IMAGE INSTITUTE VIENNA
WINDOWS TO THE PAST
HOW FAKE PICTURES HAVE ALWAYS LIVED THE OLD TIMES.
A Project in cooperation with Jens Lindworsky.
At first it was fun - we wanted to know how our friends and we looked like before. If we had gone to a photo studio around 1900 - in a Sunday suit or in the best dress and after a visit to the hairdresser - what photos would have been made?
We had to work it out until the pictures really worked. Until the flair and the mood fit until poses and looks were authentic until the yellowing worked convincingly. In the end, we had photos that even experts could no longer distinguish from originals.
The pictures were funny, but they also had a strange magic. An effect that we had not expected. We could look at it ourselves as if we had traveled into another era, as if we had actually been there. And that has - as a side effect - changed our view of the old times. Seeing our own faces in the past has brought us closer to the past. Maybe these times are not so far away from us, not so long ago. Maybe people were not so different as the old photos make us believe.
What were those people on all the old photographs? They look serious, they never smile, they look stiff, strange and incomprehensible, as if from another world.
But let us not be fooled.
Today we laugh a lot at photos, we present ourselves young, sexy, active and optimistic. Once upon a time, another ideal applied: on photographs, one wanted to look as dignified and sublime as on a painting.
That the people in the old pictures wear their hair differently, wear old-fashioned, hand-sewn clothes and are surrounded by old things - these are outward appearances that should not distract us.
When images are black-and-white and yellowed, we instinctively sense the temporal distance and lose the connection to the photographed people. But that's misleading: the day they were in front of the lens, they were just as colorful as we were at that moment.
When we look at old portraits today, people often feel as present, close and alive as if they were starting a conversation at any moment ...
PLAN B - Mainstream
Step by step fall the promises of our modern capitalistic model. Endless growth, nanny state, happy self-development show their drawback: Debts, loneliness, achievement-oriented society. Despite on going media reports of diverse crisis all over the continent, individual and society fear to leave the sinking ship. The intention of the news coverage fails due to rigidness, laziness and emotional sealing of its receivers. With the increasing orientation on a global defining culture vanishes the diversity of social systems and for the individual it’s getting less conceivable to deviate from it. The horizon for new solutions shrinks with every culture falling prey to the enforced conformity of globalization. Even more frightening on the individual level is that we all degenerate like tigers in a zoo ...
PLAN B - Communes
The terms alternative community or commune stand for the growing number of people who realise their own concepts of society instead of following every stupid mainstream. They both experiment with innovative social systems as well as preserve the healthy aspects of personal bounding like shared property, which are considered old-fashioned by our current life-style. In establishing a communal together as the basis for their utopia, they reanimate the human group instincts and contain them like Noah’s Ark did with every genus. Those communes, rich in their variety of social concepts, ranging from anarchistic to spiritual models, demonstrate new solutions for global problems and proof, that personal well-being is easier to reach through interaction than that lonesome self-realization. Although mainly outside the public interest, everything indicates, that the need for a utopia increases. Alternative communities are courageous enough to transform a vision into reality ...
Palms and Penguins
The taboo pulls a protective boundary before the shameful affect of our innermost fantasies and triggers lust when crossing it. Isolated from these circumstances, a play is put on stage by insiders. The naked fetish appears as pure figure of intimate imaginations. Lifted from its stereotypical context, the clear image of the object of the taboo is revealed in all its liberated aesthetics ...
The birth of her son changed not only the everyday life of Ursula Roeck, also the objects that crowd in her life are others than before. Bizarre, medical, practical, and often can not be interpreted without explanation. Her current project is called „Motherhood Sculptures“, beginning with the umbilical cord in glassware. Nasal aspirator, nipple shields or Freud and Shila as playing figures are things which accompany her since her motherhood. The emotional quality of these objects ranges from curiosity and joy to pain, surprise and helplessness. The staging in the studio with nosocomial backgrounds increases the object quality of the items, giving the photos a clinical note and reminds of the beginning of new life ...
Hope of Europe?
In spite of rain and thunder thousands of believers from Central and Eastern Europe came together to celebrate the European Church Conference in Mariazell. In the most famous pilgrimage city of Austria they pray and sing together for a more beautiful Europe. But do the people ...
The life of a dairymaid is hard, especially on a small organic alp in Bavaria. Along with a working day of 18 hours comes the patriarchal treatment of the farmer Voiti. He and the animals determine the course of the daily routine. The day starts early in the morning with the work in the stable and ends in the evening with the same task. Feed the cows, milk them, clean the dung and make butter. After the equipment of the milk-centrifuge is washed by hand the preparations for the guests have to be done. When the last guests and the work in the stable are finished, the farmer, who is unable to cook by himself, is hungry again. This fits perfectly into his old-fashioned attitude. As this is not enough, his mother Theres, 85 years of age, demands attention by playing Halma. But there exists another side. On hot summer days, when ...
Tender Sweet Rodeo Man
In a hot and dusty village in Oaxaca, Mexico, when unexpectedly dropping in a rodeo competition, one expects to meet sweating cowboys known from western movies. Instead, the settlement was Indian and the rodeo an initial ritual for teenagers. On the outskirts of the village a shaky stage for spectators surrounds a sandy arena where young „men“were styled for their first big rodeo performance. Their proposed girls were already waiting for the promised men, but only in case they keep up with the bull. The second good reason to participate and risk ones life is for ideals. The ideals of manhood, pride and privileges. The high risk and the cruelty to animals are part of the game. It lasts three days, people might die, but the pride of conquering nature and girls over comes all doubts ...
Albania you meet sincere people. A beautiful country, fertile and rich in a history full of tolerance. Personal independence has priority, also due to the fact that the policy is badly self-serving. Hence, proactive thinking and solidarity is needed. The Bektashi Tariqua, an Islamic dervish orders and recognized religious community, shares these values and exists within a family of different faiths according to the motto: One knows best, what’s good for him or her! Even at the greatest of all feasts of the Bektashi, on the holy mountain Tomorri in Albania, this ...