FOUR STRATEGIES FOR FILING

FOUR STRATEGIES FOR FILING

Project Description

In FOUR STRATEGIES FOR FILING / VIER ARTEN ZU AKTEN ZU LEGEN, a woman witnesses the anthropological archives of human hair harvested from condemned political prisoners, Jews, and Roma in the Vienna Stadium prior to their deportation and gassing. These hair samples are kept in vellum envelopes in drawers of the administrative offices of the Vienna Ethnography Museum.

The project encompasses a short film installation, a text in English and German, and a performance collaboration with choreographer Alexx Shilling and composer Arthur Kell. Translation into German by Uljana Wolf, and voice performance by Dorothea Seror.

Artist Statement

In the winter of 2012, I travelled to Vienna and was asked to take a look at something in the basement of the Vienna Ethnographic Museum. Up above, there were lightly falling snowflakes, a picturesque piazza with kiosks of hot mulled wine and roasting chestnuts along the Christmas Markets. Underneath, there were florescent lights, bureaucratic systems, and small envelopes filled with the hair samples of murdered human beings. I was sundered by the experience of a site that simultaneously celebrated humanity’s external public traditions of peace, hope and joy, as well as humanity’s half-hidden, intractable traditions for profound sadism, cruelty, and war.

Literature

EXCERPT

(Text by Quintan Ana Wikswo. Translation into German by Uljana Wolf)

FOUR STRATEGIES FOR FILING /
VIER ARTEN ZU AKTEN ZU LEGEN

1. ONE
/ EINS

The filer files. To every body an envelope, licked, sealed. There are three gestures for preparing human hair to be retained in envelopes. The filer files. To every body, an envelope. Licked. Sealed.

Der Aktenanleger legt Akten an. Für jeden Körper ein Umschlag, angeleckt, verschlossen. Drei Arten gibt es, menschliches Haar in Umschlägen zu bewahren. Der Aktenanleger leckt Akten an. Ein Körper, ein Umschlag. Angelegt. Verschlossen.

2. TWO
/ ZWEI

A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl.
A snip. A curl. Cut. Cut with shears
Cut then taped.
Taped and tied.

Locke. Und Schnipp.
Locke. Und Schnipp.
Locke. Und Schnipp.
Locke. Und Schnipp.
Locke. Und Schnipp.
Locke. Und Schnipp.
Locke. Und Schnipp.
Locke. Und Schnipp.
Locke. Und Schnipp.
Locke. Und Schnipp.
Locke. Und Schnipp.
Locke. Und Schnipp.
Locke. Und Schnipp. Schnitte. Mit Scheren

Geschnitten und geklebt.

Zugeklebt und geheftet.

 

3. THREE
/ DREI

What color the curl
What color
What color

Colored.

Welche Farbe die Locke
Welche Farbe
Welche Farbe

Farbig.

 

4. FOUR
/ VIER

Give it a number.

Numbered.

Give it a number.

Now.

Take down your hair. Take it down.

Take it down and I shall cut it off.

Nun gib eine Nummer.

Nummeriert.

Nun gib eine Nummer.

Nun mach schon.

Löse deine Locken. Lass sie runter.

Lass sie runter, ich schnippel sie dir ab. 

Film

Credits

Text first performed in English at Dixon Place / New York City / January 2013
Full Performance premiere at Jewish Museum Munich / July 2013

Supported by a Creative Capital Grant in Emerging Fields / 2013
the City of Munich
Fieldshift Further
Pasinger Fabriken
Ebenböckhaus

Quintan Ana Wikswo – Texts, Photographs, Films, Performance
Alexx Shilling – Choreographer
Arthur Kell – Composer
Uljana Wolf – Translations into German
Dorothea Seror – Voice Performance in German

Body of Work: