Vestiges
FA+ - Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre -
FAM 62

A site specific video, book and objects installation with a soundtrack composed by Membranoid (Danil Akimov).

Part III of the project Kaliningrad Taken Over

Curated by Elena Tsetaeva

for the inauguration of the tower KRONPRINZ the new home and space of the National Center of Contemporary Art (NCCA), Kaliningrad Branch

Look at the Tower Kronprinz background here >>

Kaliningrad, Russia, July 2005

 

The Tower Kronprinz (as the rest of the city) it's a building in badly need of renovation - a future project of the NCCA. We decided to keep the looks and feeling of a wreck in the rooms as a parallel metaphor of the cultural and economical developing of the enclave. A German ruin broth back to life in a cultural context.

As a method to recognize Kaliningrad, in 2003, vaguely based in Cortázar's short story, looking for the "it" that take over the place; we documented everything with photo, video, sound recording and by recollecting objects from the streets which we kept as a kind of anthropological samples of the citizens life. Those elements were used to produce these works.

In this event we present for the first time to an international public the book Kaliningrad Taken Over, the soundtrack KTO by FA+ Membranoid and the video-intallation Vestiges including the collection of objects in plastic bags.

We used two rooms at the Kronprinz, both very dark. In the first one a single weak light on top of the book's table was the only illumination; all around in the room hanging from the ceiling, were plastic bags with objects of all kind, founded in the streets. The bags were difficult to see in the darkness, people discover them when the bags touched their faces, arms or legs giving a creepy feeling that the room was inhabited by something else. The video was projected directly on the walls of the second room and was the only light source, the soundtrack could be listen in both rooms, quite loud.

Because the low illumination the installation was quite difficult to document, but we may give you an idea:

The other two parts of the trilogy are the Art book Kaliningrad Taken Over and the photo and text collages The Mythical foundation of Kaliningrad

 

The book's short story happened to be prophetic. The character of the story walks around looking for traces, vestiges, of a language and a culture, which seams to have disappear and it is strongly neglected by the city inhabitants. But that language keeps on coming to him in a secret and mysterious way.

As a mater of fact, in the real Kaliningrad, 2003, nobody even mentioned Königsberg or were interested in German or Prussian cultural roots. In all the hotels, maybe somebody could talk a rudimentary English or nothing else but Russian, German: nobody.

Two years later in a complete cultural turn around, the authorities celebrate with theatrical ostentation the 750 years of Kaliningrad/Königsberg. Kant is resurrected as a local hero. At the hotels suddenly everybody speaks "a little" German, but no English. The city is now into a manic search after it's cultural roots and there are souvenirs of Königsberg all over. Coffee cups with a Königsberg view? Underwear with the old castle? Cultural history as an economical investment for a NEW future, into Europe... - Euro Kant's?

  First presentation in public of the book Kaliningrad Taken Over

 

The objects (and public) lighted by a TV team

Entrance to the video room with flash
The projections on the wall
 
     

 

Stills from the video
 
   

 

With the generous support of The Swedish Institute

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