Joanna Pianka & Veronika Suschnig
Collective Memory as an Archive of Urban Identity
Perceptual Grounds is a research and exhibition project by Joanna Pianka and Veronika Suschnig, which is on view at the Museum Nordwestbahnhof since October 2, 2021 and deals with history and memory in urban space. The emergence, change and shaping of spatial memory images is the starting point for a discussion in the urban development process.
Museum Nordwestbahnhof Nordwestbahnstrasse 16a 1200 WienOpen every Thursday 3-7 pm and by appointment
How can we experience the history of a place through our immediate senses?
How can we perceive events that have happened there?
Who and where are the witnesses of a place and what are our means of uncovering, then depicting, and triggering that atmosphere?
How do we uncover the layers of transformations and reconstructions on a place? Is that the job of us as artists and architects?
The former railway grounds, the Nordbahnhof and Nordwestbahnhof in Vienna, is a palimpsest of various time. It is our area of investigation for the collective memory of a place. The overgrowing urban wilderness – called in Vienna Gstettn – is an intermediate state between different forms of use per se, which past traces are overgrown by time. Processes of transformation, forces of nature, wars and industry, all have shaped this site and its witnesses. We discuss processes behind the codification of history and the significance of preservation and mediation of collective memory linked to a specific place. Perception, cultural appropriation and memories are the foundations of its social constitution.
With the use of different imaging techniques, further processing, distortion and rearrangement of past and present, of various perspectives, we compose the imagines agentes (acting images) of individual and of collective memory. We create a recontextualisation of history and memory through the making of an exhibition as an archive of spatial perception and collective memory. Photography, screen print, film and drawing are deliberately chosen as media for this project. Image and projection take over the function of memory carriers and new levels of perception. The compilation sees itself as an archive of spatial perception and collective memory.
Research Project (german)
financed by BMKOES Architecture