The word ‘remembrance’ is mostly understood as the ability to recall past occurrences or the act of remembering as a recollection or anamnesis, betraying a scarcely recognised richness of the term. Remembrance includes the act, the power, the fact, the token, and the event of remembering.
A memory changes every time we recollect it. Like the photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy we remember an event with the added imprints of its last recollection. If we do not revisit a memory in a long time, it becomes more and more vague and difficult to remember, until the neuronal connections and networks to its recollection are lost. Synapses and neurons in a neural network store a specific memory in a process that is called memory allocation. The connections between neurons are not static, but they change gradually. The more signals sent between two neurons, the stronger the connection grows. Thus, with each new experience and each remembered event or fact the brain slightly re-wires its physical structure. Memory is related to but distinct from learning, which is the process by which we acquire knowledge of the world and modify our subsequent behaviour.
Dazwischen Geschichte (History in Between): The project for Haus der Geschichte Österreich (House of Austrian History) encompasses a photo series and a series of videos. Following the construction process for the new museums’ space in the historical backdrop of Neue Burg, the former Emperor’s quarters, later used as a hospital, as an administration building, as an archive, collection and museum space the artists interrogate the implicit and obvious powers that structured and structure Austria. In these historical surroundings questions of how Austrians were governed, how we want to be governed, and how we do not want to be governed arise naturally. In fact, they have never lost their currency and relevance. As the photographs follow the construction work closely, the videos look at this process from a distance, taking into account in the conflicts, controversies and expectations that surround this museum since its first conception.
Watch the video here.
Baustelle Erinnerung (The Construction Site of Remembrance): In cooperation with the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism and the curatorial team comissioned with the renewal of the Austrian exhibition at Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau we will accompany the construction process at Block 17, where the Austrian exhibition is located. The artistic documentation process will focus on the laying bare and changing of the historic site throughout the renewal process, as well as offering glimpses of the historic construction that becomes visible only during specific stages of the transformation process.
︎ National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism
© Anderwald + Grond