reflecting against identity

video, HD, 10min., 16:9, colour, sound: dominik traun, 2011

„Day and night the Sewer flows underground, hidden under the second city. But day and night in Vienna are only apparently separated from each other via some opaque system, they continuously pass over each other and into each other, bring each to disappear, like the `normal and pathological designated states of mind ‚, as says Freud.“ (Gerhard Roth, Archive des Schweigens) 

Vienna is a tourist city of magnificent landmarks, but strolling through the town one comes to places that do not conform to the familiar City. Places, which seem repulsive and terrible, about which one would like to know more, yet are left un-commented. They remain, deprived of their history and pushed into a schizophrenic landscape, a mixture of cultural tradition, vernacular and amnesiac lust.
The flak towers (machine gun air defences), built after the annexation of the city by the Nazis, are six colossal concrete towers situated in central Vienna. They are firmly anchored in the city and have become familiar buildings, yet as relics of the war they seem to incur no reasonable discussion. 

The video installation reflecting against identity deals with the current circumstance of one anti-aircraft tower in particular, now an aquarium, as a place of repression through the denial of its history and the circumstances which brought about its construction.  Looking at how the fear of this past contributes towards collective repression and thus promotes a displacement, the impotence of the attempt to deny responsibility and futility of evacuating blame. Will this memory die? Will we be guilt free in the future? Debt free? How will the flak towers be seen if memory is forgotten? 

The film is an architectural portrait that reflects this schizophrenic situation, the persistent of history and the futility of attempting to make invisible an object whose historical significance is obvious and unavoidable. Capturing traces of the architecture and exploring where its history and spirit intrude into the present, I attempt to deconstruct the tower, an action both costly and difficult is possible in film.

Thanks to: Valentina Cancelli, Markus Hafner, Gerhard Rauscher, Dr. Marcello La Speranza, Felix Schörschek