Thursday, 2 October 2014

"At first I ask you - How are you? How do you live? What have you done at summer?"   Zuzana N., 30/08/1989 ...

Beckingen, Germany, August 2014

"Dear Zuzana, I'm fine. After six weeks in Germany I am now back in Sheffield. 
Our Regular Line Project is progressing and we are only two and a half weeks away from visiting your country for the first time! 

I had a very reflective time in Germany. Where I grew up is only 20 minutes drive from the French or Luxembourg border. Schengen is not far. I often feel that the open borders of the EU have a different significance for me as they have - for example - for people from the UK - where I live now. This year also marked the 100th Anniversary of World War I. From 1920 'The Saar' was actually occupied by Britain and France. The area has an overall interesting history - before and after the two world wars. Today it is Germany's smallest federal state.

London, UK, September 2014

So much has changed since our original correspondence! About a year ago I had a phase of shredding many old letters that I had kept over many years - and your earlier letters with them. As an artist I then stored the shreds in a plastic bag - as they had representative meaning and were visually beautiful. This summer returning back to England I took a pile of shreds with me as a symbolic act. This journey of the symbolic object of our original correspondence also symbolizes the journey I have made now and in the context of life. Like with a pile of memory fragments it is impossible to piece together the original experiences/letters from the little strips of paper. I intend to take them to Bratislava and Topolcany and then leave them there - looping past and present.
Initially I thought this narrative story would form the framework of my work for Regular Line 2014. Over the past few weeks a different approach evolved in communication with my fellow artist David Jones and Kirsteen Hardie. One that roots my work for Nastupiste 1-12 in the present rather than the past.

Susanne

Sheffield, UK, October 2014