Open Space Zeitz, Zeitz, Germany
As the curatorial statement of the project "Open Space Zeitz" puts it:
"After the unification of Germany, the town of Zeitz was severely affected by de-industrialisation. The town lost half of its inhabitants and its streets are still uninhabited."
One part of the cultural programme Open Space Zeitz was an exhibition in an abandoned library, with the participation of various artists and musicians, each of whom was assigned a room in which to create their work.
My work "Air Bubbles: The Voice of A Room" is about the memory of rooms.
I am interested in the human traces left in aging buildings, and I wanted to know what comes to mind in the memory of a room.
I used 500 light blue plastic spheres scattered around the room full of memories to symbolise the air that floats around the room, and printed on these spheres are little words that we use in our daily conversations, such as "Hmmm... ...", "Ähm......", "Aha!" or "Hmhm?".
These auxiliary words in our everyday sentences imply that there has been human activity in the room in the past.
When I was putting nails on the wall, I saw different floral wallpapers in the room. They were yellowed by time, naturally leaving traces of time and people's activities.
I wondered what this room, not too big and not too small, was used for. It's not big enough to be a library, maybe just big enough to be a newspaper reading room, or an office.
I put about 500 nails in the whole room.
After the event, I needed to clean up the room.
I took down each blue ping pong ball and pulled out the blue ping pong balls one by one.
The room was full of nail holes.
I thank the organisers for giving me the freedom to create in these historic spaces and for allowing me to put 500 nails in this beautiful room.
Such a free space to create is rare.
On the opening day of the exhibition, many residents came to visit, and many art and music lovers took the train from neighbouring cities to come and see the exhibition.
Cultural and artistic activities do have the value of revitalising the community, and as this space is a place for artists and musicians to create, the organisers have given the artists a fee for their work, which has benefited them as well. It's a win-win situation!