Mixed Media Project (associative array in 9 parts), 2016
Audio Recordings, Photos, Images, Found Material, Text, Furniture and Objects
Wood Worm Works was developed as a direct reaction to the place that is called Tabakfabrik Vierraden. The village of Vierraden has existed since medieval times and since the arrival of the Huguenots three centuries ago it has also been famous for tobacco plantation. The Tabakfabrik itself was built at the end of the 19th century and has seen the various fortunes of passing regimes. As the name suggests it used to be a store house for tobacco leaves. But in the middle of such a rich history and the very generous space of the building itself it were the rather trivial but very obvious traces of wood worm activities that struck me during my first visit to the Tabakfabrik.
Quite obviously the wood worms reside there in their own right as the landlords of the building and thus also act as witness to what has happened. Accordingly now they very much contribute to the present identity of the Tabakfabrik by their interventions. The woodworms make the music of the place. However, as the Tabakfabrik is being gradually restored and the presence of the woodworms in this particular habitat probably will not last much longer I decided to explore the place and the space by taking the woodworms as my point of departure and probing their heritage with respect to their relationship to music, dance and poetry.
One of the initial ideas was to present a concerto for woodworm and percussion but unfortunately the woodworms were unwilling to break their pledge to silence. So the concerto became an somewhat austere audio work dubbed „Das Gesammelte Schweigen der Holzwürmer“ (the silence of the woodworms) whilst the installation as a whole documents the artefacts and traces of a rich woodworm culture and protocols their various instructions primarily in form of notations, scripts and material transformations.
In a game of representation, naming and translation the installation brings to full circle the chain of associations that were triggered by the quest for space identity. So the train of thought goes from scales to scales and woodworm to wormwood, which in turn was a component of traditional anti-woodworm agents but also an ingredient to the legendary absinthe, which again probably was likely consumed whilst smoking tobacco and letting imagination run free.