Ausschnitte aus EDEN/Extracts from EDEN
was installed at Moxie Studios, Dublin as part of the main exhibition, 'On Migration',
curated by Moritz Neumuller
in the programme of PhotoIreland 2012
The Lausitz lies in the southeastern part of the Province of Brandenburg in the former East Germany (Deutsche Demokratische Republik) where it meets the Polish border. Of Sorb origin (a Slavic language group), the region has been shaped by the timeline of industrialisation, where along with its capital, Cottbus/Chosebuz was defined as a Model State and the energy heartland of the DDR. The Tagebau, part of the largest opencast mining territory in Europe, now owned by a Swedish energy multinational, lies north, east and south of the city. While the braunkohle (lignite) will eventually be depleted, it continues to be extended.
Having first visited the region in late 2003, seeking the impact of global capital in a periphery of Europe, as had been experienced in my native Ireland, I quickly realised that it was in fact the antithesis of this experience. Prior to the global economic collapse, I encountered an emptying and the recognition that the same globalising forces which had transformed unrestrained the landscape of my origins, were indeed transforming this landscape through its forces of withdrawal and seepage - a globalised hemorrhaging. As a result, jobs were and continue to go further East while its younger population migrates to the West and in 2007, the Lausitz came last in a national survey addressing future prospects.
Informed by ethnographic understandings and incorporating audio digital video, photography, cross-generational testimony and artefactual material, the project has been constructed in the context of a landscape shaped by and inscribed with the utopic ideological aspirations of modernity - industrialisation, socialism and now at great cost, globalisation. In totality, the region invokes Marshall Berman’s 'wounds of modernity' resulting from the 'cycles of destruction' necessary for the functioning of capital. A pivotal emphasis for the project, is the catalyst for the region, the Tagebau and critically viewing it as perhaps a metaphor for late capitalism - finite, fragile and ultimately, unsustainable.
The production of the project has been generously supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.
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