A lot of things were collected into an unprecedented whole in this story. Objects, information, people, narratives. It is hard to say what came first, but relaxing walks on the forest paths, next to the Akademie Schloss Solitude turned into encounter with number of bottles and discarded objects, that got my attention.
Was it because of past encounters / or the encounters yet to come / with people in the city center who were collecting bottles, because of observing their organization, their tools, their mindset? Maybe.
I got the pickup tool and trolley and started collecting objects as well as information in the forest.
One thing led to another and the forest led to a small town of Gerlingen. One curious object let to another peculiar discovery and event. In the printing house’s trash bin I found 15 canvases, rejected because of the printing mistake. The printed tree with Happy Birthday inscription was unneeded excess, so I decided to take them.
Collection of bottles and items was enlarged by every departure into the forest, as well as the interest people, accidental passers-by, colleagues.
Fellow Zoltán Lesi suggested contributing to the collection with a short story with a bizarr perspective. An extraterrestrial observer arrives to a blue planet to create a map for colonization purposes. Strange squirrels are crossing its way and collecting bottles for the living. Lesi’s text is using a broken german for the report of the extraterrestrial map drawer.
We started going to the city center together and talking to bottle collectors, wanting to hear their stories and that is how they met mister Alex, who has been collecting bottles for five years. He was of Greek origin and he played bouzouki, and after the conversation about how much he loved nature, we invited him to play Happy Birthday in the forest.
The oddity of encounters between objects and information, the way they were layered and piled, established certain validity of classification that is not empirical. The sameness and otherness were interpreted spatially and narratively to form a new dis/order.
Found objects and information were documented and in the end exhibited as a group of photographs in the form of a map of the area where objects were found. They were grouped by days and categorized by different principles. Time I spent on collecting every day, as well as nuber of meters I passed were marked by each day/group.
After all, the collection will be returned back into the process of established order of classification, recycling and production where it belongs.
The project was created in the Akademie Schloss Solitude, international artist-in-residence program and was presented at the exhibition and symposium: PLACE, TIME and PEOPLE: Biographies and the Production of Places.
Imran Ali Khan