heidiland II

collaboration with Matthew Lenkiewicz
video installation, wood, spray-on snow, HD video, 12min, 16:9, colour, stereo, sound: haarmann, moritz ecker, 2010

Heidiland II deals with the construction or reconstruction of space. Originally rooted in a distinct context but are implemented in a new one. The removal of context transforms the place to a room without history or culture, wrapped in a veil of absurdity.
The reconstruction of spaces is a phenomenon that is observed in many places in society. In the form of the preservation of historic architecture or in the mimetic way of life of many migrants who, in their new environment, try to recreate their usual environs ("Heimat"), or indeed in the infant recreation of adult themes and the adult recreation of existing of adult themes.The video work is set in and around the ski hall in Oberhof, Thüringen, a town known in Germany as winter sports centre. Since attached to the railway in the 1800s the town has steadily grown as a popular winter sports and leisure destination, seeing a boom in the GDR times, when the town was systematically developed into a leisure and sports centre. 
Now, the town’s economy is based solely on the winter tourism.In recent years however changing climate conditions give Oberhof ever decreasing snowy days a year, and increasingly artificial snow production or imported snow is needed to sustain the life of the town. As the environment, on which the culture and the economy is based, itself begins to migrate and, in September last year, faced with an economic and cultural excess, a refrigerated hall was built, specifically designed for cross country skiing. 
Ski domes, for me, reflect on the reconstruction of places: a closed hall with indoor ski slope, the floor is covered with snow. They are built where there is either no longer or has never been any opportunity to ski geographically, while their designs are based on certain abstract ideals.
Heidiland II is an attempt at a re-staging of the ski centre. It is no longer an architecture of function, but rather it questions the nature of the object, of place and of its mimic. In how far is such a space only image of a reality and how much does this make up the reality in which we find ourselves today? What effect does this architecture have on society, towns and entire landscapes?

Installation view, gallery loge, Essen, 2010