VIELGESCHICHTIG. 6 Portraits | 31 Conversations | 6 Languages

October 5, 2023–February 18, 2024

Each life has multiple layers. Just how many is something revealed by the art video installation “VIELGESCHICHTIG. 6 Portraits | 31 Conversations | 6 Languages”, on display at the House of Austrian History. Six participants talk to other people about their biographies and backgrounds – with surprising results. These conversations captured on video show how the self someone chooses to project changes depending on to whom they are talking. To watch these conversations is to experience an astonishing density of human encounters, historical events and, at times, silent nuances.

As different as everyone’s experience is, the biographies here have one thing in common: at certain points, the speakers’ histories all connect with the history of Austria, and in particular of Vienna. By immersing viewers in the multi-layered accounts of these six present-day eyewitnesses, the deep imprint of a globalised contemporary history at the intersection of the 20th and 21st centuries is revealed. Listening in, we become part of an entangled narration that raises questions about our own identity.

The exhibition “VIELGESCHICHTIG. 6 Portraits | 31 Conversations | 6 Languages” is one of the outcomes of the art-based research project “synoptic storytelling in a multidirectional Vienna” currently ongoing at the Film and Television Research Laboratory of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, led by Friedemann Derschmidt and financed by the City of Vienna. The project is curated by Alaa Alkurdi, Friedemann Derschmidt, Anne Pritchard-Smith and Karin Schneider, with linguistics support by Nikolaus Wildner.

The exhibition showcases the method of the synoptic portrait developed by Friedemann Derschmidt.

Foto: Viktor Brazdil

In collaboration with:

A…kademie der bildenden Künste Wien

Porgy & Bess


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