Michaela Melián has previously presented an extensive artistic work dealing with the history of the displaced persons camp Föhrenwald near Munich and the people who lived there. Between 1946 and 1948 it was one of the largest DP camps in the American occupation zone with around 5,600 inhabitants. The piece was also on view on the grounds of the synagogue and was awarded one of the most important German radio play prizes.
Glass objects are arranged on a table, everyday things such as different tumblers, bowls, bulbs, vases, acrylic packages, CD covers etc., as well as prisms cut to geometrical bodies, such as cuboids, cylinders and pyramids, made specifically for the show. The objects are illuminated by a slide projector that turns them into an abstract urban landscape. A cut prism on a small motor rotates in front of the slide projector’s lens creating a kind of film along the walls of the room in which the projected city permanently changes in a flowing motion. At the same time, configurations of spectral colors alternate on the surface of the table between the glass objects.
The slides running through the rotating projector create a specific rhythm. Around two thirds of the slide frames are empty and function as a pure source of light illuminating the glass objects and the projection of the city. Between the empty frames are slides of greatly enlarged details of Else Lasker-Schüler’s drawings and texts. Her work is fed into the slowly rotating projection and fragmented and refracted by the glass objects.
The third element of the spatial installation is an audio track with a recording of ›Heimweh‹ written by Else Lasker-Schüler in 1909 in Berlin. The poem is read in German and, in a phonetic adaptation, also in Hebrew and Arabic and is embedded in a composition produced from the sounds of a glass harmonium.
Installation with slide projection and audio track, 2012
Glasses, prisms, slides, projector, motor, audio track
Voice: Juno Meinecke
Hebrew coach: Noi Fuhrer
Translation into Arabic: Husein Chawich
Arabic coach: Safaa Nisani
Voice recordings: Michael Heilrath
Music: Michaela Melián