"Die Zeit ist die formale Bedingung a priori aller Erscheinungen überhaupt."

At first sight a spectator might get confused by the title of Anna Watzinger's exhibition at Schleifmühlgasse 12-14 gallery since its abstract – numeric form in a way reminds on a phone number or even on some strange code. And actually it is a strange code that a contemporary person with some traditional western education may deduce that it has been coded according to Gregorian calendar and 24 hour measuring of time.
Of course it marks one precise position in time when the artist of the occasion left her mother's womb. This is the point when, at least from a particular perspective, the thread begins to unroll. The story, the history of Anna Watzinger begins and in a way it means that here her time begins.

Merging time and a story together cannot be simply tracked with a single line. That would be just like watching a photograph and trying to grasp something real from what was photographed but there is always just one view of infinite possibilities that can be seen there. Marking someone’s lifeline with a tread then cannot be a simple decision of coiling up a definite number of metres following some algorithm for transferring time measures into space dimension as well. One life is always interweaved with other people’s lives therefore it contains their time(s) too.

The work Zeitkörper is made of threads from woollen clothes (like old pullovers). By starting with those of the artist herself and continuing with her parents, relatives and friends this woollen ball represents Anna Watzinger’s life. The lengths of the threads are tracing the amount of time that a particular person was a part of her life. The wool ball acts like materialization of passed time very similar to accumulating sediments but in the same time taking the form of a pearl. 

It is possible to draw a line and divide the exhibition in two parts. One part is about fragments of time-space colliding into simultaneous occurrences, the other brings forward the issue of process and effects that time makes or traces that leaves behind. It seems quite natural that the first one is based on use of photographs since photography is believed to be the medium of moments and displacement of time and space but also the medium of absence since it is always a trace of something that has occurred in the past. A moment stands for any position on the line of time and it is hardly perceived as its segment and a space for a process. Photographs are similarly perceived as being torn out of the course of time and persisting in their state into eternity.
But unlike a moment that disappears through restlessness of the “Now”, the photographs continue in presence as images and signs.
Besides they may even act as symbols for memory, generally speaking, but not as representation of any particular memory. Memory is in remembering in the essence and in reconstruction in its presence while a photograph is simply a record. Just because it seems to look like showing something from the real, it can deceive a spectator to be dealing with reality but the only reality there, is its presence in time and space that it shares with the spectator.
The works from Studies of Time are composed by three photographs.

In the Raum series, two are showing two states of a place before and after evidencing the change and the third one is a transparent combination of the two. Because the third one is placed between the other two, the composition naturally gives the impression of showing the past, the future and the presence.
This is impossible since every photograph is inevitably coming from the past but the third image, the image in the middle may act as a representation of perception of the past and the future at any actual moment – from the perspective of “Now”.

Quite differently works the perspective of time in the Me, myself and I, which is composed of three photographs portraying the artist; on the first as a baby, the second taken just recently and the third one constructed with a computer to simulate the artist being an old woman. The simulation is evident and gives the sensation of coming from a computer environment but contemporary realities in real life are highly constructed a spectator might still identify with the imagination as being part of a bodily experience about the future.
And of course, since a photograph doesn’t have anything to do with truth, on the contrary, its language is deception, this image doesn’t break any rules and builds up reality through fiction. 

A process is always best represented as live experience.
Performance is a technique par excellence to speak about presence and the present. Anna Watzinger decides on a radical act to deal with her own body and pain. Joy and pain are two sensations that are undoubtedly connected to the present moment. While can joy be experienced only spontaneously pain can be caused artificially. It is not sure if tattooing that shows no visible wound can transmit any pain to the audience, but marking the event by having written the word “NOW” on the right arm forever in any case makes a perfect record of an experience.
There is no better representation of an experience than a wound itself and a scar is the best storyteller.
Everything would be too perfect if there wouldn’t be a bit of absurdity, some kind of paradox. There is no way to keep presence of a moment to last forever.
Of course “now” persists in omnipresence but when it becomes a record it acquires the same status as a photograph. When it is done, it already belongs to the past and on itself tells very little or nothing about the moment of its origin.

The installation of the four objects inside the gallery is set up to present different perspectives on process and time dimension by showing four processes with different speed in change. Perhaps we should count the performance showing the change in seconds as the fastest example but it has a bit different nature than the four objects (an ice cube, a candle, a pot with soil and seeds, an apple) placed on pedestals.
The ice cube started to melt at once and within minutes there was water dripping from the pedestal forming a puddle on the floor (is the evaporating of the puddle part of another process?). The candle, being eaten by the flame, was disappearing much slower but still the changes were visible within hours. The pot with soil is meant to show changes within days when the sown seeds would sprout and plants start to grow. The apple represents the slowest process of the four showing the changes on a weekly base.    

The exhibition actually culminates in the gold plated kamut seed, an ancient kind of wheat.
Already in its original form as a simple seed it represents the past as a symbol of the plant that produced it, the present with its presence as it is and the future with holding the possibility for growing into a new plant. But it is gold plated and placed on a pedestal and exposed on top of a glass support and protected by a thick glass cover; all this makes of it a mystical object of adoration and seemingly belonging to some ancient cult. In this sense the seed becomes the representation of the idea of life itself and the dependence of mankind on powers of nature and its cycles. Through resembling to some kind of ancient and perhaps even primitive cult it acts as the saviour in case everything else is ruined and lost.

In a symbolic way should be understood the price the artist stated for this artwork as well, because it is hardly, still not impossible, to be expected that a collector or even less an occasional visitor of the exhibition would pay 999€ for it, even if such a powerful artist’s statement is worth much more. But the number reflects the idea of infinite, uncountable and suits perfectly the meanings that we can read in the sculpture. This actually is not a golden seed but a real one that can produce a next generation that will give more grains and so on until everyone is fed again. This is a true and real treasure
Vasja Nagy



Dokumentation der Performance am 9.6.2011


(Der Titel der Ausstellung verweist auf Ursprung und Bedingung der Ausstellung)
Die Ausstellung versucht sich mit unterschiedlichen Mitteln, Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten und Strategien einem Begriff /einer Erscheinung anzunähern, welche/r sich immer wieder der Wahrnehmung entziehend doch allzeit gegenwärtig erscheint: der Moment (das Maß von Gegenwart).

Wie lange dauert ein Augenblick?

Wo bin ich wenn ich im Moment bin?

Der Moment, da in erster (kausaler) Betrachtung verortet zwischen Vergangenheit und Zukunft, erfordert eine Beschäftigung mit dem Begriffsphänomen Zeit.
Wie lässt sich die Anwesenheit von Zeit wahrnehmen?
Welche Qualitäten und Erscheinungen können ihr zugesprochen werden?
Ist Zeit als eine lineare oder  zirkulare "Bewegung" zu denken?
Oder gleicht sie doch mehr einer Spirale?

Zeit, als überall im Sein anwesend und gleichzeitig Nichts-Seiende.

Ist Gegenwart die Bewegung des Vorher zum Nachher?
Wo lässt sich diese Bewegung verorten? Wo befinden sich ihr Ursprung und ihr Ende?
Lässt sich Gegenwart als das "Nichts-Dazwischen-Seiende" denken wo die Frage nach dem Ursprung/Ende obsolet erscheint? (Ursprung und Ende fallen zusammen).
(...Die Zeit beginnt am Ende und endet am Ursprung....)

Können wissenschaftliche Vorstellungen, Methoden, Messungen, philosophische Gedanken  und künstlerische Herangehensweisen dazu beitragen sich diesem Zwischenraum anzunähern oder ist dieser gerade durch seine Nichtanwesenheit (und Unmöglichkeit der Darstellung) präsent?

Somit versucht die Ausstellung auf unterschiedlichen Ebenen zeitliche Qualitäten und Vorstellungen zu denken und zu bearbeiten und die Anwesenheit und Auswirkung von Zeit einerseits als flüchtige Wahrnehmungsmomente im  Zeitfluss zu belassen und anderseits Zeitmomente anhand verschiedener Arbeiten zu dokumentieren.

Die Veränderung (Bewegung) als Parameter und Auswirkung für die Anwesenheit von Zeit, wobei dies durch Dokumentation des Vorher und Nachher veranschaulicht wird. 

Arbeiten der Ausstellung werden zum Momentakteur  und lassen die Ausstellung im Zeitraum ihrer Anwesenheit aus sich selbst entwickeln. Ein Wachstumsprozess aus Momentfrequenzen wird anhand sich verändernder Objekte (Bewegung) initiiert, welcher durch seine Flüchtigkeit auf den Jetzt-Moment verweisen soll.

Die im Rahmen der Ausstellungseröffnung gezeigte Performance erweist sich zuerst schon durch ihre Eigenschaften und Strategien selbst als möglicher Ausdruck von Gegenwart, da sich ihre Existenz aus dem Moment speist und aus ihm entwickelt; der Entstehungsprozess selbst ist Gegenstand der Kunstbetrachtung.
Die Performance versucht die schwer greifbaren und durchaus widersprüchlichen "Daseinsformen" von Gegenwart anhand eines bewegten Bildes auszuloten und darzustellen, wobei der Körper (rechter Oberarm) der Künstlerin als sprichwörtlich eingeschriebene Projektionsfläche dient.

Das Jetzt beschreibt nicht nur den Rahmen der Performance, das Jetzt ("NOW") verweist durch den körperlichen Schmerz des Tätowierungsprozesses auf  "diese Schnittstelle", die bedingungslos nach Aufmerksamkeit/Wahrnehmung verlangt.
(Die Künstlerin hofft auf empathische Gegenwart der Rezipienten).

Was passiert mit dem eigenen und fremden (Rezipienten) Zeitempfinden?
Womöglich entzieht es sich der gemessenen objektiven Zeit und beginnt in einem Rhythmus zu schlagen, welcher ausformulierte Vorstellungen von Zeitprozessen obsolet erscheinen lässt.

Weiteres lässt sich anhand einer zweiten wesentlichen Eigenschaft der Tätowierung, seiner Unvergänglichkeit, die dualistisch widersprüchliche Daseinsform (im Vergleich zum Schmerz-Moment) des Jetzt dokumentieren; der Verdacht dass der Moment ewig ist und dies die einzige Möglichkeit des "Da-Seins" - das Ende kommt bestimmt!

"Wenn ich komponiere, kommt es mir so vor, als würde ich eine Pflanze durch ein Zeitlupenraster  beobachten.
Alle Entscheidungen, die den Wachstumsprozess bewirken, erscheinen dann so, als wären sie bereits zuvor getroffen worden. Tatsächlich werden sie im Moment des Entstehens erfunden."

Wayne Shorter; Saxofonist; Die Zeit: " Utopist de Jazz"

The exhibition attempts with different instruments, expressions and strategies to get closer to some subject/appearance, which tends to deprive perception but still is present all the time:
the moment (the measure of presence).

The moment, which in the first (causal) analysis locates between past and future, requires to be engaged on the phenomenon of time.

How can the presence of time be perceived?
What qualities and appearance can be attributed to it?

Is time to think as a linear or circular "movement"?
Or could it more be compared with a spiral?

Time, as being present everywhere and nowhere.

Is the present a movement from the before to the later?

Where can this movement be situated?
Where are its origin and end?

Can present be thought as the "nothing-being-between" where the issue of the origin/end seems to be obsolete? (origin and end coincide).

The time begins at the end and ends at the source ....
The change (movement) as a parameter and effect of the presence of time, which could be shown in the documentation of the before and the later.
Works at the show become protagonists of the moment and let the exhibition grow by itself.
A growing process of moment frequencies is initiated through changing objects (movement), which refers to the now-moment through its volatility.

Thus, the exhibition attempts to think and work out temporal qualities and ideas at various levels and to leave the presence as well as impact of time on one hand as some fleeting perceptive moment in time-flow and on the other to document moments of time through specific works.