Mixed Media Installation
(Prints on Foil, Steel Cube, Humidifier, Projections of Timelapse Images)
The installation was created during a journey with the Trans-Siberian Railway (Vienna – Beijing). 15 facial portraits of persons who encounters the artist by coincidence are inkjet printed on a transparent foil and positioned individually and one after another within a steel frame.
During the time of the exhibition a humidifier is placed directly beneath the steel frame. In the course of time the ink printed on the foils diffuses slowly due to the permanent exposition to a water vapour. A webcam connected to a computer captures a single frame every 30 minutes and records the slightly altered portraits which accordingly will be reprojected on the foils by a beamer.
During a journey with the Trans-Siberian Railway one crosses many geographic and cultural borders in an extremely compressed time span. Within 2 weeks a distance of more than 7,400 kilometers (from Vienna to Beijing) is covered – this swamps the perception in every aspect. At the same time I noticed that the facial features of persons whom I encountered as passerbys in the stations are changing gradually. It was my motivation to ask as many people as possible for permission to take a portrait photo of them.
After the journey I tried to order all photographs based on this shoft of ethnical features, but without the captured time mark of the camera one will not succeed. In contrast I noticed an increasing irritation over my intention to classify the ethnic and social identity of human beings.
Faces is not intended as a documentary but an attempt to question the symbolic consequences of the human identity.