by Michaela Rotsch
OPENING of the GLASPALÄSTE
18th May 2017 at 9.30 pm
Video installation WITTENBERG_BAGHDAD_DOWNTOWN
by MICHAELA ROTSCH
Michaela Rotsch, Videoinstallation with 7 Syntopian Vagabonds and 3 projected videoloops, Wittenberg 2017
The artistic structure SYNTOPIAN VAGABOND is a prototype of GLASPALÄSTE, a mobile glass cuboid developed by Michaela Rotsch and has been implemented in diverse countries and urban spaces since 2012 as an instrument with which to connect places. Syn- and -topos means the combination of places; these can be either places in the mind or different disciplines. The cube always takes up residence in institutions or entire cities that are currently in a state of emergency. Most recently, the SYNTOPIAN VAGABOND cube was in Baghdad.
Wittenberg is also a city currently experiencing a somewhat exceptional state of being – it is the site of the Reformation jubilee celebrations, with the city centre transformed into an open-air museum, and partly even museum shop. Furthermore a direct link will be established with Baghdad’s city centre.
The video installation WITTENBERG_BAGHDAD_DOWNTOWN approaches questions regarding the impact of global business and trade relations, modern day indulgences if one may, regarding today’s trading centres of the world, made evident by World Trade Centres. The video focuses on the streets of Baghdad, divided and enclosed by defensive walls since 2003. It shows a trip taken with the transparent SYNTOPIAN VAGABOND cube through four districts of Baghdad’s downtown area. This city – once a prosperous global trading centre, in the midst of a process of globalisation, isolated and derelict, in a state of emergency, the capital city of a country, the soil of which is one of the most coveted in the world – is the centre of world trade, not a World Trade Centre.
Videostill: from DIRECTION_BAGHDAD_DOWNTOWN, 9 min, 2016/17