European Mobility Award Report: Franziska Harnisch
Recipient of a European Mobility Award, Franziska Harnisch used the oppertunity to display work for the exhibition f.a.r. - former analogue realities.
It was her first solo show in the Netherlands. The work she showed consisted of 3 parts based on Google Street View and social media (Instagram).
Franziska Harnisch studied in Greifswald, Hildesheim and Braunschweig and is a master student of Thomas Rentmeister. Her artistic practice includes the areas and interfaces of conceptual art, live, urban and social art as well as digital art and curatorial techniques such as open call.
The project space The Balcony is designed as a showcase. I completely covered the window of the project space with a window plot, which showed a view of the same project space window. The 2x3 meter plot was based on a screenshot I shoot on Google Street View. The view from July 2017 showed the space before used as project space The Balcony. The fact that Google Street View prevents a direct centering in front of a motive, the print works perspectively only in one direction. This, as well as the low image resolution and the slightly inconsistent proportions have a slightly irritating effect on the viewer.
At the door of the project room, which is only used by the residents of the house as the second entrance door, I attached 7 square motives à 28 adhesive stickers (stacked) pasted on top of each other. The motives are based on the previous exhibitions of the project space. For the stickers I used screenshots of the square previews on Instagram. The stickers resembled an exhibitioncollection and one could chose, which one to collect (Panini-Principle). During the exhibition the sticker-stacks vanished slowly.
The third work, a video performance, I showed at Jim'z, a bar facing the project space. The 37:14 min film illustrates the attempt to explore The Hague via Google Street View and to find the project space only by "aimlessly" wandering through the city. On this walk, I zoomed in on things and people that I found interesting. Like in my work „Komm nicht vom Weg ab“ (2018), I moved through the streets ghostly. I can see the walking direction of the Google Street View operator (whose face I occasionally see in a window mirroring) through the people accompanying me, who I either overtook or who repeatedly popped up in front of me. Despite the (sometimes insufficient) pixelation every person has a strong recognition value. The reactions during the screening of the video confirmed my assumptions: Nevertheless or because the images shown as ones own environment and well-known people have a high recognition value, the video was commented lively. You rarely take a look on your own living space on Google Street View.
The connecting element between all three works was The Balcony - the relics of internet presentations / exhibitions / advertisement and the form and look is given by the internet or in this case by GSV and Instagram (square pattern low pixel quality, analogue re-adapting of digital versions of former analogue realities).
As a fun part, I really would like to share the tourist side of the trip with you –
my tourist diary:
My trip to Den Haag started very early in the morning - 1 day before the opening to install everything in time. I traveled by train, which took me 7 h to go to Den Haag. I quite liked the calm slowness of the train, watching animals (ponys, lamas, sheep, deer) and snowy landscape swapping by.
The announcements of the Dutch crew of the Deutsche Bahn were in a better German and English (and Dutch), as I know it from German staff.
In Amersfoort I had to take another train of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen, which took me to Den Haag Centraal. A lot of people with folding bicycles entered. A sign catched my eye:
subtitle: An abbreviation you could never ever use in Germany.
When we were passing by the city of Gouda, I had to realize, that I pronounced „Gouda“ totally wrong my whole life. Reaching Den Haag Centraal at 1:30 pm, Arthur, one of the artists running the space I would exhibit, picked me up. It rained. Arthur directly took me to The Balcony, which was just around the corner. There we met 2 other members of the projectspace – Valentino and Matthew. After having some coffee and cookies I started installing my exhibition immediately. Valentino helped me doing it and after 2 hours of swearing and red-frozen hands (a 2x3 m window plot had to be fixed on the outside of the room) we had finally made it. Valentino took me to the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten Den Haag to have a warm drink at the cafeteria and wait there for the other guys.
The Balconists organized a bike for me, which made it easier and cheaper to go around the city. It was raining, Valentino and I biked to meet Ioana, the last member of the team of the Balcony. When we arrived, I was wet and tired. After having some nice small talk, I decided to call it a day. I woke up early because two pigeons fought in front of my window. It was raining. I checked the neighboorhood for some nice breakfast place. As I did not find one I got dressed and biked in the direction of the city center to find anything breakfast-like by chance.
The exhibiton opening was at the day of the Open Days of the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten Den Haag. As I had some time until the vernissage I went to the Open Days. Some student works of the media arts department dealing with living in outter space were quite interesting – such as the kebab plant, a plant grower that slowly turned in the growing speed of the plant, using the plant´s phototrophic orientation. Afterwards I just biked around the city and tried not to get too wet, as it was still raining. Actually it was raining all the time - my trousers were only dry in the night, when I was sleeping. I decided to change the country´s name to Niederschlagslande (Niederlande is the German word for the Netherland.s Niederschlag is a German word for rain). When it got 4pm I was frozen spending almost the whole day outside (the opening was outside), and when the vernissage-tea was gone I got us some Schnaps from the bar at the corner to warm up a bit. Despite the hostile weather some people showed up at the opening and around 8pm we went into the bar, Jim'z, for the second part of the opening.
It became a funny evening during which I learned, that the dutch boyband Caught in the Act obviously only was a hit in Germany and not in their
homeland. I left the sleepy Niederschlagslande early sunday morning, passing by Chouda and landscapes crowded by windmills, with damp jeans and an earwig haunting me until Berlin: Love is everywhere, to you I swear.
For more work by Franziska Harnisch check out https://www.f-harnisch.de/