“The wind recalls the past” by Helga Gasser and Antonio Manfredi
Harlech Biennale, Wales, May 2012
A window. We see long, flowing hair, a female back disappearing into the darkness of the room. We hear sounds like music of the spheres, reminiscent of church bells and wind chimes.
The scene changes. In the soft light of a cloudy day, bare feet feel their way over changing surfaces, soft ground, hard stone, they dig laboriously through the sand and touch the water of a beach, follow the path of a train along rail roads, a rocky road covered with broken slates, finally reaching a dark yellow cloth with dark red pomegranate motifs that covers the ground. The cloth’s soft and warm fabric can be felt intensively in stark contrast to the previous cold and hard surfaces. As the path becomes more arduous, it takes us away from the memory of the soft, naked earth to man-made comfort. The camera acts as a persecutor, sneaking after the vague memory.
Change of scene. An old, dilapidated villa wreathed with ivy appears, probably a long abandoned, Welsh hotel. In front of this formerly magnificent building we see the back of a female nude sitting on a wicker chair, her hair waving in the wind. A “Meeting Place” that has long lost its purpose.
The artists take it into possession with their work. The figure of the woman allows us a trip into the past of this place. Shattered windows and torn curtains blowing in the wind, again and again the woman at the window, the dissolving entrance hall, pieces of cloth. The woman turns her head; the box of memorabilia, the same box that travelled from Naples to Salzburg, appears, a hand opens it. We see the lining with the photographic silhouette of a tree. The box holds the memory of its origins.
Natalie Cortiel, June 2012