THREE QUESTIONS TO

TAINÁ GUEDES AND KLARA RAVAT

^ Klara Ravat

^ Final draft of the carpet, supported by stitch_rugs

WhatsApp Image 2020-11-30 at 19.48.37 (1

^ Gurvinder Kaur, Indien
Photo by Taina Guedes
image editing: Julia Küttner

WhatsApp Image 2020-11-30 at 19.48.37.jp

^ Zohal, Rezaie, Afghanistan
Photo by Taina Guedes
image editing: Julia Küttner

You have been now in Chemnitz a couple weeks:
What are your impressions of the city? Have you noticed anything in particular? Why? What
differences or similarities do you see, for example, in comparison to your home town??

 

KLARA: "Chemnitz, the land of the empty buildings. I am really impressed by the amount of space and
empty buildings around the whole city. This emptiness gives me the impression of a vast possibility of making things happen. It’s like the empty spaces motivate my day dreaming. Inevitably many questions about space and living in Chemnitz ruminate in my mind: “What would happen if I would move to Chemnitz?” “Would I be able to afford some day to buy a whole building in this city?” “Could I settle in one of these buildings and convert it into a massive Smell Lab?” “Would people from Berlin come over if I would settle a minibus on the
weekends?”. Fantasizing on the opportunities of space.

 

What also fascinates me is the amount of gardens the city has, and how committed the
people running the gardens are. In a city that seems quite calm and quiet I find that the
community building and gathering spots are a must in order to keep the people connected.

TAINÁ: "I am happy to see so many garden initiatives and people that want to rebuild a more sustainable, inclusive and harmonious society. I have met people from different backgrounds living in the city and they are all so strong and inspiring - from Haus der Kulturen, Lila Villa and their international community to all German and locals. I was not expecting a city with so much space and large avenues. I like that, as a symbolic image. Creation needs space. Change needs space. So when I think about these two things (the space in the city and those people I have met), I think that the perspectives to change the predominant negative impression of the city to a positive one might be possible. I think the work that Klub Solitaer e.V. is doing with Dialogfelder is one of the crucial projects in this way for change. The idea of bringing 6 artists from outside the city to work with the local community and provoke thoughts on public spaces is a powerful tool to bring people together for a positive change.
...
What I can see in terms of similarities with Berlin, are the garden initiatives, and the growing number of young people willing to get a “klein garten” bringing more sustainable ideas with the goal to make cities greener."

Within the framework of the dialogue fields 2020 "Von Sinnen" you will work with the Sense of smell and taste: Are there any impressions that you get mainly from the Sonnenberg?
Which ones are these in concrete terms? How do these impressions find their way into your
work?

KLARA: "At the moment I find the scents of the neighborhood of Sonnenberg quite neutral. Because
the spaces are so wide, and at the moment we don’t have much human gathering happening
because of COVID regulations, the smells fade away.


I wonder if the city planning and the almost non present scent goes hand in hand. I have learnt through the wonderful tour Octavio and Lisa hosted the first days in the city that Chemnitz used to smell a lot as the Trabant car oil, and the pollution aroma of the coal industries around would take over the municipality. So the neutrality of scent must be something really important for everyone and for the history of the city, it’s almost like the flag of city washing. The neutral fragrance is reminding us to forget and leave behind who we were, and hinting who we want to be.


The tabula rasa or white scented canvas brings my imagination up, as the empty buildings do. What would happen if a foreigner, that I am, would rethink and re-make the scents of Sonnenberg? What if I would tell a story about the imaginative scents of the Sonnenberg streets?"

TAINÁ: "I think this neighborhood is lovely. I like the view of the city from the top of the “Sun mountain” at Zietenstrasse. Sometimes during sunset a mysterious fog covers parts of the buildings down the hill and the view of the roofs is stunning. My favorite grocery store in town, Peacefood, is located here, so this is my strongest connection to food here. They have a good selection of ingredients, and diversity is visible, tastable and one can understand through the sense of taste the importance of preserving diversity in our planet. The sense of taste is one of the most convincing senses we have. I believe it is also the sense we mostly trust and understand."

Can you give us a little preview of the work you are creating?
What can visitors look forward to during the presentation week from 12.12. to 18.12.??

KLARA: "Lately, because of the current world madness I have been really interested and immersed into how to create self-care experiences and rituals, how to hold space for people to process all what we are going through in an art context. For example, in Berlin, I have created a complete white room, with a large 7m white pillow, in a gallery room in Mitte. The room was scented with ocean and airy smells, and I designed a repetitive dronny sound that helps you relax. I wanted people to be able to come over and stay in the white space as long as they needed. Having a break of the pandemic and their private lives. Here in Sonnenberg I am working on how to connect these self-care practices with the neutral aromas of the
neighborhood.


For now, I have designed a self-care ritual carpet which is being made in wool. This carpet contains different symbols. These symbols are representations of my own healing and caring practices. Being aware that this is very private and not everyone might relate to it, I want to share my practices, and extrapolate them to a rather more personal (instead of private) story. Connecting the insides of how the neighborhood smells to what we can do to feel better, imagining which fragrances we could collectively create for a better future.."

TAINÁ: "I am creating an installation made out of 7 large prints (3.5m x 2m) and 7 videos, in collaboration with people living in Chemnitz that come from different backgrounds. The installation uses the self to unpack notions that reflect identity and symbolism. The individuals or so called “entities” that are portrayed on the prints, function as a surface to raise social commentary awareness about issues related to diversity. The visual embodiment of foods unfolds personal and collective identity, and connections between
elements and issues that have been subject since the beginning of humanity."

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