Buschor lebt!   Austria   1987 - 89

Nicolas EDER   Matta WAGNEST  

What are the instruments that can help us to experience something of the world? How is an image of reality constituted? What can we know about the past?
The work group by Matta Wagnest and Nicolas Eder is comprised of seven parts on seven video tapes each addressing the general topic of archaeology. The work was completed following a preoccupation lasting several years with epistemological questions, for the exhibition Gefunden ? Kunst und Archäologie (Found ? Art and Archaeology) at Schloss Ottenstein in the summer of 1988. The title alludes to the life of the German archaeologist Ernst Buschor, who taught in Munich in the 1920s and was one of the most influential archaeologists of his time. However on a formal level any reference to his research remains abstract. Each individual video has a different production style and explores a different facet of what Michel Foucault termed the "Archaeology of Knowledge". Video 1, Forschen (Research), shows faces on the computer with geometric figures and mathematical formulas superimposed on them. Feldern (Fields, video 2) shows old documentary footage of a pyramid, while video 5 shows found footage of an industrial complex to which a male voice reads a text on blue collar workers and labour relations. This relatively complex work also involving extensive research is perhaps best compared to a filmic essay with something approaching Godard-style atmospheric associations: It conveys a vague suggestion of visual treatments of the past without mentioning specific facts. Video 7, the final tape, addresses the last things: calm, ruins, graves ? a kind of end time drama unfolds even though Buschor is still alive. The multipart video work Buschor lebt! can be viewed as an attempt to encompass the complexities of transferring knowledge as a general phenomenon. The work employs vagueness and ambiguity in the presentation to lay the focus on atmospheric qualities, from which one infers a capitulation before precisely this complexity.

(patgrz; Translation: Jonathan Quinn)


mono color PAL


Matta Wagnest/Nicolas W. Eder

Copy to see

Niederösterreichisches Landesmuseum, St. Pölten