I have a golden suitcase and travel with it to Bolivia in South America. The suitcase was given to me by my mother, Switzerland, and it always holds the essential things I need to live. Except for encounters. Those always have to happen anew.
I was involved in an exhibit including performances of several European and Bolivian artists at the Museo Tamblo La Paz. We were invited to show our art there. Initially, I was perplexed. What should I show here, and why? I didn’t want to rehash one of the performances I had done in Europe. First of all, I wanted to find out where I was, what kind of country that was, what kind of people. Whom am I creating a relation with here? That is how Habla conmigo was conceived. I traveled through the Andes for a week and spent two weeks on public squares in La Paz. I always put up a sign asking people to speak to me (“Habla conmigo”). People could choose a card with a question on it. That defined the subject of a conversation: questions about the community, the relationship between Europe and Bolivia, questions of political perspective and cultural imprints. The conversations were turned into texts and portraits which I made available to the museum visitors in the shape of a “wall-book” – a wall full of pictures and texts about my encounters with Bolivians. For the duration of the exhibit, art students continued the Habla conmigo performance at the museum with visitors. Here are some excerpts (photographs and texts) from the wall-book.
Museo Tambo, La Paz
the book (fotos & texts)
text example 1
text example 2
My father was a Jew and became a Christian because my grandmother would not have let him marry my mother otherwise. The roof above my head collapsed. I don’t have any money. My legs hurt. My life is sad. My crops were destroyed by hail. Is everybody in Europe an atheist? It must be hard for Christians. Ah, there are churches. But why aren’t you a Christian?
Mi padre fue judío y se convirtió en cristiano porque si no mi abuelo no le hubiera entregado a mi madre. Se me cayó el techo sobre mi cabeza. No tengo dinero. Mis piernas me duelen. Mi vida está triste. Mi cosecha ha sido destruida por el granizo.
¿En europa todos son ateístas? Entonces los cristianos deen pasarla muy mal. O allí hay muchas iglesias. ¿Pero, por qué no eres cristiano?
What poverty is? I can explain that to you: children wear the same T-shirt for a whole year and die of diarrhea. I believe that the world was created in six days, six thousand years ago. How about you? I live 100 meter above the street and see the Illimani.
¿Que es la pobreza? Te puedo explicar, los niños usan todo un año la misma polera y mueren de diarrea. Yo creo en la creación del mundo en seis días hace 6ooo años. Y tu? Vivo cien metros de la calle y veo el