BLUE LINE walks
Ladakh, Mali, Lithuania, Tyrol, Scotland, New York, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Suisse, France, Lower Austria, Portugal, 1990 - 1997.
BLUE LINE (taken from Frederick Law Olmsted's landscape-architectural terminology) should be understood as a metapher for the borderline region between so-called primeval and cultural landscapes, a dialectically highly charged region. On the walks I have deliberately taken in these BLUE LINE regions, I have picked up objets trouves de nature on the wayside, primeval flotsam and jetsam, so to speak, and taken them home.
The objects, given poetic names and catalogued, are stored in 20 old discarded suitcases. The insides of these more or less widely travelled pieces of luggage were painted with white emulsion paint, giving them a "white cube" ambience, and the objects arranged inside together with their labels. In a one-hour video all 107 objets trouves de nature and their arrangement in the suitcase interiors were documented. Then the suitcases were shut, locked and wrapped in plastic foil with air pockets. The contents and their arrangement having thus been relegated to memory- or brought onto the digital plane- the individual suitcase now became an exhibit- or storage-item, a "black box". The individuality of each suitcase was broken yet again when it was ordered within a shelving system, installed as part of a work unit.
"When a person goes for a hike, he takes himself along. At the same time, he extends himself, he is enriched by fields, forest and mountains A person literally learns anew, what it means to get lost and to be underway, and the house that receives him at the end does not appear as something that is self-evident, but rather as a goal that has been reached." (Ernst Bloch)
"Man's original ecological niche is the gathering of fruits, sprouts, roots, eggs, small animals and articles that have drifted to shore . If the ecological niche of primeval man is gathering, and he has left this niche in which he existed side by side with other species, one could perhas say that man's ecological niche consists in a space that the earth, the most general ecological system, has reserved for wear and tear, that is, in a kind of existential margin extending from the times of the gatherers to the wonldwide catastrophe that will lead to the demise of all life?" (Andrej Bitow, Mensch in Landschaft)
The "BLUE LINE walk project" sees itself as belonging to this poetic, philosophical and scientific context, ranging from Müller, over Bloch, to Bitow.
© 2012 Toni Kleinlercher