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( 232 1960 Josefine Guenschel images/spacer.jpg Germany 3695 Skulptone Performance Project Germany 1988 images/works/Gunschel-1988-Skulptone.jpg 232 1960 Josefine Guenschel images/spacer.jpg Germany 3502 Ohne Titel Sound Sculpture Germany 1991 1994 images/works/Gunschel-1991-Untitled.jpg Notes on Josefine Günschel’s installation in the Gallery o zwei A work of art especially suited to dark November days can be found in the Gallery o zwei. Anyone who decides to leave his dimly-lit den and make his way across the shiny cobblestones, collar upturned, into the brightly-lit gallery will find an illustrated excursion into the mechanical workings of melancholy. Günschel, who, in projects such as’ Nachtbogen’, has been known for her delicately provocative disruptions to our perceptions, has directed her attention to the “the lazy burden of the world” as one baroque poet said when describing the feeling of melancholy. Laziness is a burden, the very nature of which consists of the desire to overcome itself. The condition of wanting to overcome is often replaced by the mundane, habitual behaviour of reluctance. Rejection in its turn is clearly seen in body language - the body reflects inner states of being which language seeks to transform in order to conceal awareness. Günschel has placed a row of ash-grey pillars in the room and exposed them to machinery that strikes out at them with groaning, metallic sounds. The columns sway, bend, keel forward and finally fall back, almost into their original positions. The striking action is timed and distributed in such a way as to hinder the establishing of a normal momentum. From time to time, the columns come to a standstill, the heaviness that was apparent in their structured movements giving way to the floating ease of motionlessness. The possibility that stillness can be experienced in contradictory ways as: a voluntary letting go; an acceptance or resignation to the condition of being; a forced presence; doing nothing and being still, or that it can be experienced as a deep outwards breath or as a cold freezing up – that such an array of possibilities are incorporated in one concept is but one of the lines of association Günschel’s work sets into motion. The structures of movement, from which Günschel only shows us an extract, awaken in the viewer’s entire body an awareness of how tiresome the nature of existence can be and reminds him or her how their efforts to overcome the lethargy in their bodies as well as the inertia in their hearts are often comically helpless and futile. The fact that the viewer, being made aware of movement, is also made aware of the complexities of his or her inner condition speaks of the strength and precision of the work. “One never shares thoughts, one shares movements, expressive signs from which we read backwards to the thoughts”. (Nietzsche) [Christine Hoffmann] Accessed 14.04.2008 from http://www.josefineguenschel.de/en/interior/columns3.html audio/Gunschel-xxxx-O_T.wav 232 1960 Josefine Guenschel images/spacer.jpg Germany 3694 Ohne Titel Installation Germany 1992 Schloss Plüschow images/works/Gunschel-1994-Untitled.jpg High up in a windy attic in a castle in Mecklenburg lie two feathery balls. At regular intervals, the sound of flapping wings emerges from within. Accessed 14.04.2008 from http://www.josefineguenschel.de/en/interior/plueschow.html 232 1960 Josefine Guenschel images/spacer.jpg Germany 3763 Ziezow Sound Installation Germany 1995 Konsum shop in Ziezow images/works/Gunschel-1995-ziezow_1.jpg ‘Konsum’ was the name of the former East German retail chain and in the Ziezow Konsum shop, time appears to have stood still since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It seems impossible to connect to the present. It is a mysterious, melancholy place, out of step with time. Nothing was altered in the shop – only a cassette recorder with a tape-recorded voice was added. The tape contains a collage of texts originally spoken by people with dysfunctional memories. Accessed 14.04.2008 from http://www.josefineguenschel.de ----- When were you born? - What? It was here on the table and has been moved, right? I was wondering how old you are? - Maybe… I couldn’t put it together that quickly. It’s not possible. In what year were you born? - The thing is… these things take time to get through. You have to put things back together first. 96 yes it was 96... it was 96. Or am I carrying on because I know that… that… That’s too big you can’t get there. There are too many things in between, right? It doesn’t come that quickly into your head. Yes, my sister was here. She was away on holiday, came, because she was put aside – it just wasn’t like that with us. And there knowing, I was then I couldn’t stay there alone, because I couldn’t get my food and things like that – at first it didn’t work out. After awhile I said I wanted to go back to my flat and it got better and was then, and I can see it better that I stayed outside. Do you understand, than as if I was with strangers – that’s not on… and my sister when she’s here and she helps when its needed what has to be done. How long have you been with us, Mr S.? - Yes. What have you been doing all your life? - Yes … that’s right, as well as my kiddies. Did you work in the city of Stade? - Yes …yes. Which company was that? - Yes, I worked until I was 65. Where were you born? - Yes, I don’t know. I know my mother was used to it. Yes, I see here how we, that… that’s not true. But before here, that’s something, the one before is gone, so I can see that, that’s the door, the door closes with a scabby tractor and then sees the… had to do it earlier, the machines. How old are you then? - Where? How old are you? - Yes, I’ve been here for a week from – I was born in December – In what year were you born? Nineteen . - When, afterwards? When were you born, your date of birth. - Yes … a… I’m from the Rhine… Rhineland in Germany. The news on TV is way too fast. Recently there was something on Guatemala. Guatemala? I thought about that word and the news was already somewhere else. I never found out what was up with Guatemala. I didn’t hear anything after that. Yes, I‘ll say there are complications. I have to do it differently … I think you have to begin at the bottom and not at the top. It’s like this: against the past I have to say this about the big beginning first as I turned up it’s obviously a big difference … today is better than then, and we don’t have to debate on it. Mr. S., how many children do you have? - How much I earn, in the bag… or… No how many children do you have? You told me earlier you visited your children. Do you have a daughter? - Yes. Or do you have a son? - Yes, I was… Do you have children, Mr S.? - After the war I was in Banje… in Bell… in a big hotel in Badenbult… and in Eisenach…is she still living? I’ll tell you something though… no I will…I’ll tell you something. Maybe it’s a sort of fairy tale. Once there was a spider… at first the spider could catch his flies… and they crawled up the hill… but he couldn’t always catch them… until they landed on a high tree… and then without wanting to, they were caught on his silvery thread. If you lose this thread… I can only say this… this spider…as cruel as heaven can be…so cruel was the spider. Is that possible? [ The texts have been partly revised and were taken from the following books: Angela de Friderici: „Neuropsychologie der Sprache“ (Neuropsychology of Language) Luise Lutz: „Das Schweigen verstehen. Über Aphasie“ (Understanding Silence -about Aphasia) Klaus Poek (Hg.): „Klinische Neuropsychologie“ (Clinical Neuropsychology) V.M. Roth (Hg.): „Sprachtherapie“ (Speech therapy) Vincentz-Verlag (Hg.): Video „Alzheimersche Krankheit“(Alzheimer’s Disease)] 232 1960 Josefine Guenschel images/spacer.jpg Germany 3762 Steel bands Kinetic installation Germany 1999 images/works/Gunschel-1999-steel.jpg Metal strips over two metres in length and made of suspension steel are struck by motorised metal hammers causing them to swing, whip and clash against each other. After a while the vibrations become slower and the metal strips return to their initial positions before being struck once again and sent into motion. A nervous, pulsating environment is created in which events take on an unusually life-like character. 232 1960 Josefine Guenschel images/spacer.jpg Germany 3761 water works Kinetic Installation / Site Specific Germany 2002 Swimming pool, Oderberger St. images/works/Gunschel-2002-wasserwerks.jpg The swimming pool in Oderberger Street was designed and built by Ludwig Hoffmann between 1897-1902. It boasts an opulent, main swimming hall and served as a washing and swimming centre for the citizens of Prenzlauer Berg. The pool was closed in 1986 as cracks developed in the main hall and the swimming pool itself. The washing areas and sauna remained opened until 1997, after which the building was closed. 12 domestic sprinklers were positioned in the empty swimming pool. Water squirting out from small openings created arched forms which moved backwards and forwards, emulating fan or wave-like motions. Each sprinkler was mounted on flexible springs – tentatively, the regulated movement of the sprinklers breaks down and they begin to follow their own, independent impulses. The arrangement of the sprinklers causes the fans of water to interlock, run parallel or against each other. Simultaneously these arches echo the architectural curves and arches within the room. Unfortunately the sprinklers’ activities serve to no avail – the water flows over the tiles where it drains away – plant life cannot be coaxed from the ground or be saved from drying up. Accessed 16.04.2008 from http://www.josefineguenschel.de/en/interior/waterworks4.html )