Dieser Blog ist dem Material gewidmet, der Konstruktion, der Technik, der Opulenz und der Schönheit, dem Spektakulären, Aufregenden, Anekdotischen, den kleinen Details und dem großen Gesamteindruck, der Bewegung, der Farbe, dem Vergangenen und der Zukunft.

Montag, 19. April 2021

PINHOLE COMPUTERS: Aber Hallo - A video for Europe in the City by Matt Hulse and Julia Zinnbauer

Matt Hulse, Julia Zinnbauer: Europe in the City, Düsseldorf


PINHOLE COMPUTERS is the name of an art and music performance duo whose members are Julia Zinnbauer (Düsseldorf, Germany) and Matt Hulse (London, UK).  

For the festival Europe in the City, that takes place in Düsseldorf from 1st to 9th May, they created a short, loopable digital film that signals a message of hope and positive communication between the artists' respective countries, and more broadly throughout the European Union, and indeed potentially the world. Thereby they also celebrate the 75th anniversary of the foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia. 



Matt Hulse and Julia Zinnbauer met in February 2018 in Düsseldorf in the context of the Düsseldorf Photo Weekend, where they both presented their work. During that week, the pair collaborated on an entirely new performance video installation, presented in the Glashaus on Worringer Platz, called SPACEFALL.Together Hulse and Zinnbauer shot a video on the Worringer Platz in Düsseldorf, a large square that is said to be the ugliest and dirtiest area of the whole city. Their aim was to find beauty in this space as well as to articulate a general love for neglected spaces.

A link to an excerpt from the video you can find here, as well as a further description of SPACE FALL and Thomas Frank's article about the project for the Westdeutsche Zeitung Düsseldorf.

During the first period of 'lockdown' Hulse and Zinnbauer formed the duo PINHOLE COMPUTERS. The early works (spoken word and music) were created remotely, and montaged digitally. They met again in person in Scotland in the summer of 2020 (during Zinnbauer's artist-in-residence at MERZ Gallery, Sanquhar). There they created and filmed a short performance, exploring semaphore (with self-made flags) and the idea of 'remote signalling'. A first semaphore video was posted immediately after midnight of New Year's Eve 2020, just moments after the UK's official departure from the EU. This was intended as a poetic first step towards keeping the creative connections between the UK and Germany alive.

The message of the video for „Europe in the City“ spells out the words "ABER HALLO". This is of course an easily-understood message of friendly welcome and invites a response. These words also refer in fact to a bar on Kölner Strasse in Düsseldorf, now called 'Atemlos'. It was in this location that PINHOLE COMPUTERS first discussed and examined their collaborative ideas for SPACEFALL.

For the time being, as the pandemic continues, PINHOLE COMPUTERS' Instagram account serves as the primary platform for showcasing their work and ideas.

Matt Hulse and Julia Zinnbauer are currently exploring a project that will celebrate and strengthen, through art and friendship, the long-standing partnership between Düsseldorf and its twin city of Reading (UK). They are preparing an artistic film about the Hexagon, a Brutalist multi-purpose theatre, that was opened in 1979 in Reading. The architecture and the story of the Hexagon will provide the framework in which the cultural exchange and the friendship between Reading and Düsseldorf will be further explored. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Reading Düsseldorf Association and the friendship between both cities, the film will be presented in 2022. 


Samstag, 20. März 2021

The Architecture of Peter Womersley in the Scottish Borders

Video; 33.11 min.
Camera, editing, research, text, sound, voice: Julia Zinnbauer; Scotland 2020

In 2020 I spent the summer and early autumn as an artist in residence at the MERZ Gallery in Sanquhar, in the South of Scotland. In this context I started researching about the English architect Peter Womersley, who lived and worked almost all his life in Galashiels, a town in the Scottish Borders.

In the late 1950s Womersley transported the idea of the modernist bungalow to this rather rural area and also built several Brutalist buildings, like e.g. the Gala Fairydean Stands. I travelled to Galashiels twice in order to visit as many of Womersley's buildings as I could reach by bycicle. I took photos and videos and also recorded interviews with people who had a personal relationship with Womersley and his architecture.

Peter Womersley's best friend was the textile designer Bernat Klein, for whom he designed a bungalow in the late 1950s and a studio close by in the early 1970s. This artist friendship is a beautiful link between modernist architecture and the textile tradition of the South of Scotland, so it was important to me that two outfits designed by Klein were part of my video. Moreover I embedded the whole story in the landscape as well as the literature of this area, as it was in Galashiels where the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott had lived in the 19th century. 

Montag, 25. Januar 2021

The Sanquhar-Project: My artist residency in Scotland in summer 2020


Sanquhar Highstreet in August 2020


















My artist residency at the MERZ Gallery in Sanquhar, Scotland

In spite of all the complications and restrictions that were caused by the global pandemic that is still going on, this summer I had the opportunity to travel to Scotland. I stayed there as an artist in residence at the MERZ Gallery in Sanquhar, in the southwest of the country, not far away from Dumfries. Several months before I was finally allowed to take one the first flights that went to Edinburgh after the lockdown, I started to plan my project for my stay in Sanquhar. It was based on the fact that as a teenager I was seriously eager to learn to play the bagpipes, on my general fascination for the English language, my yearning for Great Britain and also on the story about the old red telephone box that my parents installed in their garden, more than twenty years ago.

In the end I was working on two parallel projects, on a video about Sanquhar itself, that also included the story about the telephone box and the local knitting tradition and also on a second project that dealt with the architecture of Peter Womersley. As this is also a rather extensive story I will describe it in a further article.


The woven Sanquhar Dress

Sanquhar is famous for having the Oldest Post Office in the world that is still in operation. Another important topic is the Sanquhar Knitting Pattern, a black and white pattern that dates back to the 17th century and that is mainly used for gloves.

One of my original ideas for my residency in Sanquhar was to weave a dress out of ribbons that were made in the old textile company that friends of mine are running in Wuppertal. During the industrial revolution and also still in the 20th century Wuppertal was a thriving textile city. Kerstin and Christian Escher's company named Escher Textil dates back to 1849 and today is one of the last textile companies of Wuppertal. They were so kind as to send me a big package full of ribbons to the MERZ Gallerery. By weaving my dress out of their ribbons, improvising and varying the Sanquhar pattern, I aimed at linking the textile tradition of my home area with the textile tradition of Sanquhar.

Weaving the sleeve of my Sanquhar-dress out of ribbons produced in Wuppertal












My bagpipe - finally re-assembled in Sanquhar        


Originally I wanted to do a performance wearing this dress and take part in the Riding of the Marches, the annual procession that takes place in Sanquhar each summer - perhaps even with my bagpipe. Unfortunately the Riding of the Marches was cancelled due to the global pandemic. Nevertheless I went on with my Sanquhar Project, trying to document what I experienced and what seemed beautiful and special for me. And I started weaving the dress.