ÖFFENTLICH PRIVAT

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An installation by Sybille Bauer & Olga Flaum

The project ‘Öffentlich Privat’ (engl. ‘Publicly Private) deals with the questions of how urban public spaces and private spaces can be defined. How does the (female) body change and adapt during the transition from its private-self to a public-self? ‘Publicly Private’ explores the emerging dialog and boundaries between public and private spaces as soon as the artist, Sybille Bauer, performs private actions in the public space, exploring the interaction between the chosen medium photography, the camera, the two spaces and her Body.

With this work I questioned my personal high amount of artificiality, which I create for myself when I am leaving my personal space and step outside. I want to show the tension and the thin line between private and public space. I also aimed at exploring the relationship between the body as an object and the space where it performs. But when speaking about space, public or private, it is also important to address the ‘enacted space’. We are all actors within the world around us; we stage our appearance, our movements, our behavior and our language to some extent, all of the time. So the medium of photography for the project ‘Publicly Private’ seemed right to me; it frames and thereby enacts me into an already enacted space.
— Sybille Bauer

Olga Flaum documented her playful investigation of her public / private body with the camera. They then transferred the photographs into the exhibition space, where the visitor cannot only see the photos but can also listen to a collection of sounds of public and private actions. As the sound collage is presented as a loop, the images take on a different meaning when seen at different moments. The viewer becomes the narrator of its own story and interpretation.

My biggest theoretical influences have been Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno and Hannah Arendt who all tried to find definitions for the public and the private. Still, it is not the aim of the project to find a definition and give answers but just to explore and to pose questions.
— Sybille Bauer