With Ausland (Abroad) Gerald Rosbacher took up political facts in today’s Europe and linked them with current issues of measurement in the critically interconnected contexts of globalization, drawing of borders, migration streams and mass tourism.
Ausland worked on several levels. A real act of drawing borderlines happened, “arbitrarily” set through a wire-mesh fence covered in barbed wire. One part of the public space was thus temporarily withdrawn from use. In contrast to this, a stylized palm tree hinted at dreams of the South Pacific — the cliche-like, deliberately produced, controlled and accepted image of a strange, desirable, exotic world with positive connotations.
Ausland juxtaposed the two poles of the contradiction with regard to strangeness lived in Austria and in Europe: “the other” functioned as projection area for longings, but also served the fear of everything strange. Thus real borders have been drawn, and some of them in the head, equally determined by longing and fear. The work symbolically measured politics of projection logics: the ambivalences that as questions of ideologies, power and migration or also ideas of longing, dream and mass tourism constitute the term Ausland were mapped and turned into a temporary monument.
Text: Elke Krasny
Jodok-Fink-Platz, in front of the Piaristenkirche Maria Treu
*1974 in St. Pölten (AT), lives and works in Vienna
Veronika Barnaš and Elke Krasny
as part of edition VI of the exhibition series unORTnung
May 6 to September 15, 2011