A project by Eva Brunner-Szabo and Gert Tschogl
Old photos give evidence of a time which has passed by. Many of these old photos which can be found at flea markets, in garrets and shoe-boxes don't tell us where, when and from whom they are. But nevertheless these old anonymous photos trigger our memory about our own expereinces or those of our parents and grandparents. They are rememberances of happy and sad events, funny and serious ones. The project "Museum of Remembrances" shows old photos and collect the memories of their spectators. In a first phase from April to August 1998 24 photographies have been published in Burgenland newspapers, in folders and in the internet. We got 200 sending ins from 5 countries (Austria, Germany, USA, Canada, Great Britain) with texts and memories. These texts have been shown in 5 exhibitions in Burgenland/Austria.
- Eva Brunner-Szabo and Gert Tschogl
Dear Jim and Dick
The photographs are part of a larger series of images which I found in 1991 in an enormous trash pile in the street in San Francisco. I took only a small fraction of the images there, and from these I took out the landscape photographs and landscape postcards (there were many postcards there as well) and have made an installation from them. I carried these images with me as I moved from San Francisco to Prague and to Chicago and now to New York. By the time I began work on the project, I had developed an elaborate narrative for the lives of the men whose photographs and postcards they were. The images are from the 1970s and 1980s, and I imagine their lives as part of a free, open, gay San Francisco culture, which ends with one or both of their deaths in San Francisco from AIDS, either in the late 1980s or early 1990s, when I found the pile of images. I have no idea if these stories are true; it's only speculation from my side. I have taken the landscape images which are all from places around San Francisco, the bridge, the Marin County headlands, the view I imagine from their terrace windows overlooking the bay, and, using sandpaper, have sanded away at the picture. I imagined this at first as a metaphoric way to try to see what was underneath the image, to learn more about these people whom I have never met. However, the result of the sanding was an erasure of the image; instead of getting closer, I distanced myself from the imges and the imagined lives of these people even more. I find this a striking contrast which reflects on the process of memory. The more I try to approach memory, the more it recedes into the distance. The sanded and scarred landscape photographs presented here, found in the trash of Jim and Dick from San Francisco, reflect this phenomenon of loss. - Jenny Perlin