Installation: About the Natives of Europe

To see the others as they could be.
230 hidden European axes
230 scroll pictures as object and image
Beamer projections of 395 scroll pictures from 18 cities

The performance

At an event for a limited number of invited participants, the scroll pictures which are physically present at the installation are rolled out one by one to be viewed as a series, as secret knowledge of the concealed originals, by an exclusive circle of observers. The participants are  sworn to secrecy beforehand about any findings that reveal the true images.

The inspiration

Some years ago I was in a café in Berlin’s Mitte district speaking to a young Australian woman about Berlin .  She had been in the city for a year, working as an Au Pair in a German family, and spoke German very well. In the course of our conversation we talked about the Aborigines and their situation.

In an almost conspiratorial whisper, she asked me, "Henry, what happened to the natives here? No one talks about them.” Surprised, I looked at her, gestured around us and said, "We all are the natives". She looked puzzled and replied, "How far they have developed here".
This conversation with the young Australian woman accompanied me on all of my travels through the world and inspired me to think about Europe. We are the First Nations, the Natives and often the Locals in one. It shapes our behaviour and thinking. It de-stresses and provides space for a hidden Other.

This hidden Other is the core of European identity. It simultaneously confuses and unites all those living in Europe. This hidden Other permeates my installation About the Natives of Europe as an open question.

Two European issues ...

... let me Europe see in a new way.

1. A question about Europe in general:
¸What is Europe?’ and ¸What could be lost from it?”’

•   C. G. Jung recommended to Europeans in the early 20th Century, that if they raised the question of Europe, they were most likely to see the answer from a skyscraper in New York.
•   Europeans who want to see Europe today have the best chance to do so if, as I did, they travel around in the square of Tel Aviv (Israel), Ramallah (Palestine), Amman (Jordan) and Damascus (Syria). There, the idea developed in me - to observe how  people who cannot see see the others.

2. A particular question:
¸What is the achievement of Europe?’

•  In the square of Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Amman and Damascus grew in me at the same time the thought: Here is Europe’s achievement – the ability to see others in the best possible sense.

Visual and contentual aesthetics

Through the traditional Chinese / Japanese-inspired scroll pictures the influx of the non-European has a vivid continuity. Today, the symbol "Made in China", as formerly "Made in Japan", on almost any electronic communication symbolises that source. They are still in the truest sense of the word a "Chinese Framework".

•   230 images are shown as the scroll pictures which are hidden in the installation, as well as the future of the 230 places which they represent. Only the volatile, large, luminous appearance of the beamer projection confirms the authentic truth contained within the physically present but concealed rolled images.

•   Every picture is a three-dimensional object, alienated for European-influenced cultural habits. They are light, nomadic and bound by their traditional use to seasonal rituals and places.

•   There is no certainty whether the scroll pictures which allegedly originate from Europe are actually located within the rolling images or may be only partially present, or are smuggled legally or illegally, even from different cultures. Only the social reference is evidence of the truth of the statement and generates its authenticity.

Materials of the installation

Scroll pictures: Pigment Ink Print, beech, pine, cardboard roll
Material of construction: steel, shotcrete, glass, plastic

I finalise the structure using local materials at the exhibition venue.  In so doing, I make a physical, spiritual and authentic connection between the scroll pictures and the exhibition.


Beamer projection of the scroll pictures

•  Projection of a total of 395 scroll pictures in rows of 5 to 18 frames depending on the size of the exhibition space

•  No viewer will be able to see all the images, much like the European reality is not visible in its entirety.

•  Fragments slowly pull past the viewer with links to foreign and memories of common roots.
•  All images in the beamer projection change over the course of the exhibition in slow transitions.

•  Each image is shown for one minute.

•  The more pictures in the series, the longer the projection time and the longer the crossfade. The transition between images is proportional to 10% of the projection time.

In Short: About the Natives of Europe - Photography Installation

Mannigfaltigkeiten  1 ? Henry Landers Theme The hidden Other - to see the others as they could be.

Structure Urban materials - steel, shotcrete, glass
Photographies 230 scroll pictures - Pigment Ink Print, beech wood, pine wood, cardboard roll
Projection Still beamer projectors, projection of a total of 395 scroll pictures from 18 international cities, in rows of 5 to 18 frames depending on the size of the exhibition space

Price upon request

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