The Surface

The ‘Rose of the winds’ blog is an experimental surface for writing.  It works as an exchange platform where notes, photos, texts, declarations, investigations, quotes and other material will be published, constructing an investigation journal for our ongoing project: “Rose of the Winds: A semantic compass of post-Habsburg Europe”.

The Blog, as a complex and fragmentary process, is both the fuel for this engine and an integral part of the product, an archipelagic mass of ideas and counter-ideas.

The Idea

The concept of history as palimpsest will serve as the starting-point for the project. Beyond its literal meaning of an overwritten parchment or document, the term palimpsest is used as a description of the way people experience times, that is, as a layering of present experiences over faded pasts. This project will examine these layers of experience in three cities following the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. We have selected as surface of investigation the cities of Graz, Trieste and Sarajevo, cities that had a strong historical role during the dual monarchy and that continued after the fall of the Empire to be of key cultural significance. Our investigation will focus on positive interactions, visible cultural exchanges, historical overlapping and the concept of togetherness. Our main idea is to develop three public art site-specific installations that reveal different and multiple layers of the cities’ historical dynamics before and after the fall of the Empire; we will center our attention in history and language by constructing a sort of contemporary archaeology of trinomial influences between the cities.

Each site-specific installation will reflect on time and coexistence of people. The core objective is to map positive elements of historical overlapping and language traces, based around a traditional Rose of the Winds object. At the end, each wind rose will signalize different occasions of history writing: our idea of historiographical palimpsest. In terms of visual discourse, it is important to say that each installation cannot be read completely separated. Even as standing independent pieces, a strange sensation of incompleteness is the objective, a silent togetherness between the cities, as if they will somehow complete each other within a fragile threat of logic and visual output.