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Walk for Skulptur Projekte Münster 1/8
König invited me to take part in Skulptur. Projekte in Münster
1997 after seeing Louisiana Walk.
He was able to conceive of the walk as sculpture, which gave me an
insight into my own work. I had never been to Germany before. On my
various trips there, I did historical research and I just wandered
around. Everything was thickly layered with the past, and imbued with ‘German-ness.’ I decided
to work with an older male character because the town was populated
with older men wandering around, sitting on benches, unemployed or
retired. I kept thinking about their relationship to the war, or
about family and friends that they could have lost in the war. So
I created a character that was tracing his dead daughter’s
footsteps through the town, standing where she would have stood,
creating maps and writings of his own wanderings. This story was
also inspired by a friend of mine who had just lost her son in a
car crash. She tried to follow or reproduce his movements through
the landscape by re-photographing many of the photographs he had
taken. By looking through the camera at what he would have seen,
she could try to recapture some of his memory.
sound of weird repetitive piano banging to left
as if it comes from the building
Janet I think this is the
Bishop’s house to the left. I’m sorry I can’t tell
you the history of these buildings, or give you a real audio tour.
I’m just a visitor here. piano
gets louder throughout this dialogue. there’s no street noise
Janet It’s strange
being here, in this country. Somehow I grew up being afraid of Germany,
knowing it only from American war movies and spy novels. piano
Young Man Tell
me again, I’ll try to understand..
Janet voice overlaps
voice I remember locking my brother
in the closet.
Young Man It’s not your fault.
You just saw it.
Janet voice overlaps with man’s
voice He was too young to get
out. I heard his screams and I laughed.
Janet I’m at
home again. I watch the videotape of me walking down the streets, beside the
canal. I can only see in front of me, only what the camera shows. I can’t
see him following me, counting my footsteps. I lie in bed watching him sleep.
One arm above his head. His body twitching, trying to act out his dreams.
Young Man What time is it ?
Janet How can you be really sure of
sound of real Münster comes up again,
birds, city noise
Janet Let’s walk again.
We have someone to meet ...
Janet Go behind the bench
to the right across the grass. Towards the stone sculpture that looks like
mountains... sound of
choir singing to the right, sounds like it is coming from the church. walking
sounds, construction sounds, still sound of choir singing
Janet I think this
is a Jesuit church. Keep walking straight ahead, across the street. There’s
a red car parked here.
Older Man From the tower to the palace. 985 steps.
Janet past the bicycles Last
night I dreamt I was flying over Vienna. I remember a deep black sky and
the wind rushing against my body. What does flying mean in a dream. sound of professor lecturing from windows at left
Janet I read
a book, called Experiments with Time that says dreams are just as much from
the future as from the past. I like that idea. go up the stairs. someone
runs by you
after eight years, I still have some very clear memories about working
with Janet Cardiff on the production of Münster Walk. I remember
when we recorded the sound of horses’ hooves, which makes up about
2 seconds of the seventeen-minute piece. On a Saturday morning, Janet,
George Bures Miller and I met on a deserted path in the middle of some
fields near Münster. They brought
the equipment, which included a dummy head, and I had arranged for
a farmer to bring along two horses and carts. During this meeting,
for the first time, I became fully aware of the complexity and technical
precision involved in making the walks. The possibility of conveying time
processes in audible form and creating complex acoustic representations
of space lends the auditory experience a remarkably deceptive authenticity.
the time of Skulptur. Projekte, I had been living in Münster for
almost 10 years, and one of the most surprising and stimulating experiences
during the exhibition was how the artists introduced me to new places
in the city, or made me aware of them in a different way. The sites
that the artists selected were often unfamiliar to longtime residents,
although many were close to well-known paths; sometimes, they were
hidden or simply hard to access. Janet Cardiff ’s seventeen- minute
walk through the area around the Landesmuseum Münster was brought
to life by a soundtrack of subtly differentiated voices, sounds and
noises. The inclusion of sounds that were out of place, surprising
and “unfore-hear-able” led
to curious, disconcerting refractions on the perfect surface of an
apparently friendly city, and triggering irritating moments of recollection,
consternation or even threat by means of alienation. Even today, whenever
I am in Münster,
moments from Münster Walk – whispered comments, the sound of
church bells or horses’ hooves – continue to come to mind
when I cross the path or [...] I am simply reminded of it by the
noises of the city.
Audio walk with mixed media props, 17 min.
Curated by Kasper König (with
assistant curator Ulrike Groos) for Skulptur