Was Wäre Wenn

Hörner/Antlfinger, Zeichnung aus Sofia Time Travel Experiment, 2006

Hörner/Antlfinger, Zeichnung aus Sofia Time Travel Experiment, 2006

Ivan Moudov, Traffic Control, performance, 22 min, Graz 2001

Ivan Moudov, Traffic Control, performance, 22 min, Graz 2001

WAS WÄRE WENN # 3

February 5 – March 18, 2006

Hörner/Antlfinger: Sofia Time Travel Experiment – speaking with the collective subconscious

Ivan Moudov: One Hour Priority

curated by Annette Weisser

 

In Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, if one asks people how they see the future, the answer is usually pessimistic. In spite of the country’s approaching entry into the European Union, or perhaps precisely because of this, the dominant mood is one of a lack of prospects, which is certainly the case for a number of Eastern Europe’s post-socialist states. Both artistic positions in the third exhibition in the WAS WÄRE WENN (WHAT IF) series focus on Sofia, on political and social change, and on the way these changes can be perceived and interpreted. For the Berlin artist duo Hörner/Antlfinger, the point of view is that of the visitor from outside, while the Sofia artist Ivan Moudov portrays the everyday insanity of his city in subversive, funny and ironic actions.

 

Hörner/Antlfinger’s current project Sofia Time Travel Experiment was developed as part of an german/bulgarian exchange project initiated by the Goethe Institute in Sofia. As their point of departure they took the disused traffic control towers formerly used by the police, which the artists saw as particularly striking architectural remnants of the socialist era in the urban space. In a reversal of their original function, they serve the artists as viewing platforms from which to look into the future – from observation to imagining a possible future city. Their method is unusual: to facilitate unrestricted association, Hörner/Antlfinger conducted several trance sessions in September 2005 with a group of Bulgarian and German participants, in cooperation with Jenia and Roumen Georgiev, the directors of the Milton H. Erickson Institute in Sofia. Erickson, constructivist and founder of the contemporary hypnotherapy, made use of mental time travels in order to evoke images from the past and to implement new perspectives. The goal is to imagine alternative visions of oneself in the future. During the trance sessions, the group undertook mental journeys to the city’s past, present and future: the resulting inner images are documented in sound recordings and drawings. In the exhibition, a selection of this material is presented for the first time, framed by a specially designed architectural element.

 

Ivan Moudov’s actions in the city also revolve around the relationship between road users, traffic and traffic regulations. The artist uses specific situations as settings for his interventions, derailing everyday urban movements. In Moudov’s experimental set-ups, traffic becomes a metaphor for society as such. In one, he donned the uniform of a Bulgarian policemen and directed the traffic himself – absurdly, this worked just as well in Graz as it did in Cetinje or Thessaloniki. The video One Hour Priority shows the artist driving for one hour on a roundabout in the center of Sofia. The location is notorious for generating heavy traffic in rush hours. The cars already inside the roundabout have priority, so all other cars coming from other directions have to stop and wait. Playing with the road regulations, the artist found a way to be “the right one at the right place” for one hour while the very idea of “right time” in the context of the work becomes obsolete.