The collages develop out of things, scraps of paper, fragments of plastic, wood and metal, that I find on the street. No, that find me. Relevant objects, miniaturised correspondences to my world, full of life and energy. I put them on the paper in familiar and unfamiliar correlations, past and future.
In every case, ALWAYS, each of the objects remains unchanged, in its original state. This results in great tension (and strain) - a picture gradually starts to emerge, like a photograph. NOTHING is changed, twisted, manipulated, cut up or pierced. All the small parts in the picture can be seen as they were found. Including buds and leaves from the jungles of friends, which flow into the pictures in this way.
Always write the captions to the pictures with my left hand - although I am rampantly right-handed – often in English. My signature changes while doing my collages. It began with “Pix!”, goes over to “Barb,” and now sometimes to “B.Vögel”. All this part of my work.
The pieces find me everywhere. Vienna, different countries and in between. Streets, alps, villages, cities, forests, mountains and even far out in the ice.
Collecting things, picking them up and processing them, is a way of making contact with the world. And how I experience it. Been visual, to the point of pain, all my life. A hundred eyes at the same time (to deal with). Excessive demand and lust, but also obsession. The works harness solitude, being enclosed and lost in streets, melting in the hot sun, senseless screaming in forests... sublimating and condensing the magnificent moments, obsessions and ecstasies, pursuing the unbearable ad absurdum, transforming the world by virtue of their silent, discarded but to me visible existence into a magnificent-sensual-surreal-experienced - but above all - gripping place.
THIS is how I remain in the dialogue, at the point of wordlessness. The found objects keep my confinement within limits, before it becomes unbearable. They indicate the way for someone who can read the signs, help me to FIND but also to ESCAPE. Guidance system. Leading me. Through the world. Signifiers, SIGNS, tracks, totems and signposts on the arterial roads and under the open skies. Individual pieces, momentary recordings of a personal chronicle - and by somebody else - autobiographical networks - places, dreams, PICTURES, secrets, journeys, lust, sex and death.
Everything is in motion and remains so. Curious individual parts appear and are going to find me. Eagerly follow the traces, joining them together. Combating the sinking and the disappearing. Often feeling myself invisible – and only able to field some contours again through the completion of a picture.
Secret dialogues, silent agreements.
There is never a day when I know WHAT will find me and which story will emerge as a result. And by the way – there are many days, where is nothing to pick up, because it´s not an obsession.
Before 2004: ICE. Again and again ICE. Everywhere "ICEBERGS" leapt out at me. Primeval dream. Greenland. Picked them up, glued them and dreamt. Suddenly really was in the ICE. In the semi-darkness, an iceberg cathedral in front of me. An iceberg giant as if from my dreams. At some point – an old, red kitchen chair on a little boat. Later on one of my pictures. Because some time after Greenland I find a red paper-piece in Vienna´s streets that looks like a red kitchen chair...
Pictures in phases. Sometimes I need a rest from them and clear everything away. When a long time goes by, at the end there are again hundreds of finds on the table in front of me. We have to remind ourselves of each other, begin a new dialogue with each fragment through my fingers… and suddenly the connection is there again, between this curious pile of stuff and me. The stories come, the memories flow. Also memories stretching into the future, new highways, signposts, guidance systems and holes in thick walls become visible to me.
Good for me.
Yes, it's good this way.
I am addicted to the SILENCE in my PICTURES.
© Barbara Vögel