Gabriele Edlbauer

The ultimate understanding

installation, mixed media
Stockholm, 2009

Maybe I should start with writing about the work of others, which inspired me to do this one.
There was this show back in Vienna on the theme of travelling. During the exhibition were tourbuses driving about the city where some performances took place.
And there was that girl. Her performance was the imitation, or one might call it a modified reconstruction of a spooky border crossing scenario she had experienced herself somewhere in dark Eastern Europe.
The thing was that everybody who didn´t have an ID with them had to get out of the bus and wait there for further instructions. What happened was that everybody on the bus knew about the intentions of the artist. They forgot their ID´s on purpose or –oops- were pretending to have lost them.
As nearly the whole bus had to get outside then, I remained at my
seat watching this whole lot of people giggling.
They all knew that the bus would leave in a second and they all knew that they´d be picked up by another one within five minutes.
I watched them in their ultimate understanding of art and in their
playfulness of pretending not to know anything about what was going on.
Maybe it is radical to say, but their „understanding“ was what made them like that very piece of art.
The performers wanted to scare the audience. The bus left.
Noone was shocked, everybody knew.