> August – October 2021
still life train
still life train
Description of the project by Claudia Piepenbrock and André Sassenroth
in the context of the Bremen Art Satellite 2021
(This funded travel project was developed for the 2020 turn of the Bremer Kunstsatelit and has been moved due tothe Corona Pandemic to 2021)
It is about a journey with land- and sea-bound transports, from Germany, through Russia to the Sakhalin Islands, to the Sea of Okhotsk, to Yakutia and back. We have choosen this route, because it has the quality to cover as wide an arc as possible on rails in various route networks and to start with just this arc directly in Bremen.
By creating an open archive with different documents, from photos, soundpieces, film recordings, self-recordings and interviews, which we make on the journey we distinguish ourselves from the concepts of translocality and moving still life.
Through the working contact with methods and matters of the Forschungsstelle Osteuropa/Asien we were able to study historical soviet artists‘ publications and travel reports. We take our project into a context of previously existing other travels of this kind by comparison with our updated experience of the places and their perceptions in the past and nowadays. We have to learn a lot about the importance, the Trans-Siberian railroad had, for example for the view of underground publications in the samizdat at the time of the Soviet Union.
Many stops of our journey will reflect and distinguish these historical events and places. As we are willing to get in contact to cultural institutions and off-spaces, we want to share and discuss these kinds of reflections as well as parts of our oeuvre, that we build while travelling. One of the aims is to reflect on the route we have left behind and to reflect on our work with the prevailing conditions and emerging issues in the direction of exchange with the people on site.
We will move mainly on Russian soil, however, due to the size and diversity of the Russian Federation, we encounter a wide variety of ethnicities and cultures.To understand these encounters, as well as the journey itself, as material and to let them become objects of design in relation to the surrounding influences is as much a declared goal for us as the expansion of the cultural network between Bremen and the stations along the route of this year‘s art satellite.
It is a travel period of 2 1/2 months, which will be within the time span between May and October 2021, depending on the regulations.
Start in Bremen, to Moscow and from there by Trans-Siberian Railway to Vladivostok – transfer by ferry to the Russian island of Sakhalin, continue by train to the north of the island, return to the mainland and along the Baikal Amur Magistrale, to Tynda, from there to Yakutsk. Here we reach the northernmost point of our journey, from there we continue towards Novosibirsk, and via Omsk to Golubitskaya on the Black Sea. Via Rostov-on-Don and Voronezh we will start the return journey to Moscow and finally, after about 2 1/2 months of travel, we will return to Bremen by train.
Artistic approach/ intention:
We embark on this journey to travel for a limited period of time in various trains and ferries. These vehicles are bodies in which we let our own bodies move. In total there are about 600 hours that we are moved in or on them.The longest continuous time of it we will spend in the Trans-Siberian railroad. It offers us the possibility to stay almost immaculate for about 10000 km and still be in motion. We call this phenomenon „Moving-Still-Life“ and investigate in it the effect of duration and distance without active control under the aspects of translocality and deceleration.
In relation to the progressive optimization and economization of all areas of human life according to the principles of higher, faster, further, an aspired deceleration is a countercurrent process in which the space for the unknown and the foundations
for an own temporality are laid. The temporality of the journey will represent a mirror of our time, in which on the one hand locally decelerated, but overall in relation to the course is subjectively accelerated.
We want to archive the investigation of the „moving still life“ and the confrontation with the furnishing conditions found on the train, the fellow passengers and the countless train stations photographically, cinematically and acoustically as a protocol of our journey in various categories and use it as a starting point for an artistic confrontation. It is planned to create an archive in which body language phenomena (conversation models, studies of encounters), and the discussion of cultural self-understanding and understanding of others will be recorded.
In the course of the project, this archive will take the position of an observer from which we can read our own position as authors of the same. After the trip, a documentation will be created based on the analysis of the archive, which will report about the visited regions and our view on them.
Throughout the project we will also send snapshots from this process of the journey to various individuals, institutions and their representatives along the route, with the request to copy these shots and send them to our studio address in Germany. In these moments, of shifting and copying, of images seen, transmitted, transplanted and moved, the content expands in relation to the location and transit history of the photographs. In this process, the whereabouts and presence of subjective content and objects shift and overlap. At the different stations and cultural institutions where we stop, there will be lectures, presentations and workshops based on this archive and already existing works from our oeuvre, that will become contents of the respective encounter.
After our return to Germany, we are planning an action in a moving Bremen tram, where interested people can get on and off and thus become part of this translocal event. The entire project will subsequently be recorded in a publication in which the events and partners of all collaborations are listed and presented in detail.
For many years the Satellite of Bremen Art takes exhibtitions and projects of artists, chosen by well-known curators, to destinations all over the world. We contact people in near and far regions and show them something from us and about us or develop a project there and then bring back our impressions to Bremen.