CASH: IX Shiryaevo Biennale of Contemporary Art



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Андреас БЭАР | Andreas BAR

"Erinnerung" ("Memory")

I remember, when I was a child, about 3 years old, I like to play with flour. It was stored in a drawer, as well as in my mothers kitchen as in the kitchen of my grandmother. I liked the soft and cool feeling, when I put my hands in the flour and I created white landscapes in the drawer. My Grandfather was in Russia as a soldier during the Second World War. He was wounded by shell splinters. He lost one finger and the light one eye, but he survived. He hates the war and doesnYt like to talk about that time. He wasnYt a hero and he wasnYt proud about his soldier times and thatYs what lYm proud about him.

Thirty years later, I was invited as an artist to participate in a project in Shirjajewo, a small Russian village on the River Volga. During one week there, I heard story's from the old age citizens. They told about the circumstances in their life's and about the time during the Second World War and after in which German war prisoners worked at the caves in the Shiguli - mountains. Over 30.000 were freezed to death or died of starvation.
I worked with a quotation from the russian film-maker Andrej Tarkowskij on the dusty floor of the entrance to one of the caves. I used a stencil-type like it is used to write on transport-cases and I spread the letters with flour. It needs six hours to prepare the installation. I used a quotation, which I took out of a german translation of the Book "Sapetschatljonnoje Wremja" (ger. "Die versiegelte Zeit"):

"Als moralisches Wesen ist der Mensch mit einer Erinnerung begabt,
die in ihm das Gefuhl eigener Unzulangli'chkeit weckt.
Die Erinnerung macht uns verletzbar und leidensfahig."

Andrey Tarkowsky

"Russian Text" (The same that is on the Bus-Stop-Poster)
After the visitors had seen the installation a translator read out loud the quotation in russian language. Then I began to spread over the written sentences with flour and black earth and sweep it all together, fill it in a bottling jar and bring it to the River Volga. The installation disappeared. When the guests entering the Ship that will bring them back to Samara, I spread the content of the jar in theVolga.


part 1

part 2

part 3