These books are based on two different projects led by the artist during a site-specific exhibition at a gallery in Weikendorf, a little town in Lower Austria. For the first, she invited the local community to bring her photographs that would describe their lives in Weikendorf and exhibited it. The second project includes a black and white photographic installation playing on the reflections of an old fire station.
“The inhabitants of Weikendorf are the main audience [of the Kunstraum Weikendorf], they pass by every day. At once I get an idea to work with people, almost all of whom designed, built and took care of their homes. They all chose the space they live in, they keep it up and improve it. The presence of the gallery space must have some significance for them and perhaps if their own works were on display, they would view the white cube with pride and joy. Since I did not know much about Weikendorf before, I thought about asking people to help me get to know by sharing and experiences and knowledge about their town. I would ask them to choose and photograph something they created, something they are proud of, for instance they house, harvest, home-cooked meals or baked goods, even their families and let me exhibit their photographs. The photographs would be split into genres (still life, portrait, landscape, etc.) or even better into categories (the people, their work, their hobby, their flowers and trees, their houses, their animals, etc.)”
Petra Feriancová on Weikendorf I.
“I am gazing into an empty white space through a large glass window, in which I can make out a reflection of a housing development. The old fire station, in front of which I'm standing, is strategically located by the main road in the center of a town in Lower Austria, Weikendorf.
Despite the photogenic quality of the reflection in the window, I decided to shoot the view from inside the gallery, from the spot where the photograph will later be placed. Since the gallery is mostly closed, the view from within it is very unique, which makes it even more exclusive and I get to satisfy my curiosity. The photograph will simply be taken from the where where it will later be exhibited. The architectural disposition, the place from where the photograph will be taken and the window, acting as the frame, all determine the range of the view depicted in the shot. The photograph indicates the place of its origin—the interior of the gallery—and in a way it will make it accessible to the spectator.
The depiction of a rather dull scene becomes an artwork due to its white cube setting but also because of the medium, an analogue black & white photograph. In photography the black & white aspect is aesthetically more pleasing and in a simplified cinematic culture it is a representation of the past. Thus this image, essentially devoid of any esthetics, evokes a sense of an almost classical genre because of the siting and the choice of medium.
In this case I want to take advantage of the architectural and urban aspect of the gallery together with the fact that the space is sealed off, leaving the viewer to stand outside, looking inwards. I find the reflection in the large glass window, through which one can gaze inside yet also observe the situation outside—the exterior of the gallery, to be a fitting theme of the exhibition in this space. It is not simply like pointing mirror, but rather conveying a quotidian ordinary situation, fixed in a moment, perhaps similar to many other moments yet impossible to repeat exactly. I decided to shoot the view from inside the gallery, from the spot where the photograph will be later placed. the architectural disposition, the place where the photograph will be taken at the window, acting as the frame, all determine the range of the view depicted in the shot. It is not up to me to decide, it has been chosen for me.”
Petra Feriancová on Weikendorf II.
Petra Feriancová (born in 1977 in Bratislava, where she lives and works) is a Slovak contemporary artist, writer and curator. She works with the intention of post-production. The key moment of her work is the conceptualisation of her own emotional reactions to the processes of perception and memory, as well as an examination of the conditions under which they are shared. She works mostly with already made images, texts and archives, which she then interprets and methodically interchanges. The main aim of manipulating a reference—pictorial or discursive—is to provide the spectator with the original affective reaction to it.