Coming from acting in film I was always fascinated by image, language and the place a human being takes in this arrangement. In 2003 I participated in an exhibition about Paradise. I asked the visitors what paradise requires and to look in their pockets what they can dispense. At the end of the exhibition they left me 1294 Objects in my room. Out of these I picked 64 with my eyes closed.
A chessboard includes 64 squares. A reminiscence to Marcel Duchamp, the pioneer of conceptual art, who was an enthusiastic chess player.
In the French word PARADIS I found the Anagram DARIA S. (from) P. Daria: a meta-person pieced together out of the objects of longing of many.
Since 2004 I have been researching about the source of these objects in order to combine the detected in such a way that bit by bit the story of Daria’s life emerges.
In 2008 Daria logged in to facebook and started learning. As Daria is a virtual and not a physical Person, meaning she couldn’t know someone on facebook, she started with dating applications. After a week she could call 40 people, a friend. Based on the computer programme “Eliza” from Joseph Weizenbaum, which simulates communication via natural language between people and computer, I let her repeat the sentences of her dialogue partner as questions and compared the given answers with the 64 Objects. If there was a match, Daria had “knowledge” about the discussed.
I don’t feel so well.
D: Why you don’t feel so well?
My girlfriend dumped me.
D: Why did your girlfriend dump you?
It is complicated, but for the time being I am listening to Leonard Cohen and lick my wounds (*-*)
D: You are listening to Leonard Cohen?
Yap, famous blue Raincoat, 24/7“
Leonard Cohen: Object Number 61. Music tape. On the cover a sentence is written:
“Ps. listen to Leonard Cohen”.
Daria was able to post a video by Leonard Cohen: “famous blue Raincoat.”
In this manner her taste developed.
About her experiences which she acquired on facebook as well as biographical moments I already discovered by combinations within the collection of objects, I let her write a book: ‘TraceSpace‘. It is written in a “learned” language. The language which she gradually developed out of the language her friends used.
Next step was to locate her. On the basis of several Objects it turned out that she was born in Paris. I searched for a street that in on way or another had a connection to paradise and found Rue de Paradis. This was Daria’s base for the first five years of her life. Then she moved to Germany; Berlin. Object number 56 is a book by Djuna Barnes: „Paris Joyce Paris“. This translates as: Early years in Paris – followed by an odyssey – and then back to Paris. Ergo after her facebook odyssey she moved back to Paris. In 2010 I recreated her new Parisian Apartment in Berlin. The colours and form of the objects as well as the taste she “learned” on facebook were transformed and translated into a living space.
A sentence which has been on my mind for a while now, is from Milan Kundera: "The longing for Paradise is man’s longing not to be man.”
Daria is a counterbalance. We live, collect things and die. The things remain. Daria is born out of these physical leftovers. In turn, her longing for paradise is the longing to become man(kind).
I think the graphic techniques are very well suited to the nature of my project and being able to use the facilities could really help me develop these maps (large scale maps of Daria's journey's through life) - and possibly other objects further.
Also, I like the fact that through a mechanical process - and also my own physical and bodily process - the image and language is imprinted on the paper. The nature of the process is another step towards the materialization process of Daria the meta-person.
03.01.2012 - 10.02.2012