Saturday, 14 January 2012

Predicting the past/Waldsee. Graphite, bleach and ink on found books. 2011/12

In the Summer of 1944, recently deported Jews sent postcards to Budapest from a place called Waldsee.  The postcards were handed to the Jewish Council in Budapest to be distributed to the addressees. "I am doing fine," the cards read. "I am working," or "I have arrived safely. I have got work in my occupation," or "Follow us here!"
Those who received a postcard from Waldsee searched for it on a map and easily found a place with this name. More than one, in fact; there was a "Waldsee" in Austria and in Switzerland. One of the leaders of the Hungarian Jewish Council, Fulop Freudiger, helped to distribute the postcards. It was he who noticed that on one of them, the word "Waldsee" was imposed over another name ending in "witz." Only later, at the end of June, would he fill out the remainder of the obscured postmark: Auschwitz.
These six drawings are based upon collages from as many examples of “Waldsee” tourist locations in Europe that I could find on the internet. Mimicking the original lie, they are fictions of a romantic rural idyll that depict simple pleasures at odds with the reality behind the original postcards.