TIROLESIA – Description in Short
TIROLESIA is a transmedial art project. By using different means of expression (film, photography, stencils) and platforms (exhibitions, webspace), intercultural dialogue and artistic exchange are enhanced beyond geographic borders. The project’s participative approach towards visual media such as film and photography encourages a profound exchange between people from two regions that appear to be separated geographically and culturally. By focussing on people’s perspectives and narrations, it is made visible how they invent, perceive, create, mark and present their surroundings.
Within a mutual process of storytelling based on photographs as well as the conscious reception of these stories in the “other” place represents lies the opportunity to question stereotypes, clichés and prejudice regarding this unknown and remote reality. Interactive presentations in exhibitions and in virtual space enable the public to become part of a dialogue that they can sustainably generate and continue.
The first part of the project has been successfully implemented in July 2013 in Indonesia. Throughout a period of three weeks, Helena Manhartsberger travelled through a part of the country (from Yogyakarta via Bali to Lombok) and confronted the people she met with pictures of her homeland Tyrol. She invited them to pick the photo that most strongly evoked memories of their personal experiences and to tell me about them, recording these interviews on video. Afterwards, Helena took a photographic portrait of her interview partners and asked them to join information that seemed relevant to them in a caption (in writing or drawing), thereby pointing out to them that this would be the piece of information, a message by and about themselves that Austrian visitors of the exhibition would receive.
The exhibition took place as part of the Tiroler Kulturtage 2013 – „urban spricht kunst“ in Innsbruck (September – October) and presented the Austrian public with insights into Indonesia far of exotic clichés.
The project is based on the grounds of a mutual (ex)change of perspectives: This is why the second part of the project is the first part’s logical consequence: By confronting Austrians with photos of Indonesia and further on conveying the resulting perspectives to an Indonesian public, a mutual and equal process of exchange and reflexion is established. Both parts of the project were shown at exhibitions in February 2015 in Indonesia (Jakarta and Yogyakarta).
Given the 60th anniversary of the Austrian-Indonesian friendship in 2014, the current project contributes to and fosters an intercultural understanding.