The Lamia Project. A 2,40 meter stick of wood is moving slowly threw the space connected to the ceiling only with a thin cotton twine. On one side of the stick there is a water canister balancing the twenty plastic bags showing evidence objects from the Lamia case on the other side.
Andrea Salzmann criss-crossed the Basque Country to collect all this items such as stones, postcards, a plastic comb etc. and preserved them in small bags with notes where and when she has found each object. She followed the route of the Lamiak, who are ambiguous creatures from the Basque mythology. Mainly night active, they help the villagers to finish their day work but only if they are treated nice by them. If you upset a Lamia she will never return. In the text “Basque Legends in their social context” Elena Williams asks: “How the Lamia control one‘s nature in order to live at peace with one self and one‘s neighbours?”
In Andrea Salzmann’s installation she brings this question into nowadays not only threw the objects but also by attaching a text that is written in the manner of necromancy at the wall behind the mobile. By reactivating this spirits from former times the artist directs ones attention into the creation of a society that is focused on sharing, supporting each other and creating a new form of community that has nothing to do with closing borders and creating the evil Other such as refugees, aliens etc. The Lamiak could become a resource for subversive instructions to deal with our time.
And while you read the text attached to the wall and all this thoughts are crossing your mind – the mobile is making its silent circles in the space crossing also four small photographs from magic Lamiak spots.
Andrea Salzmann lives and works mainly in Vienna, Austria. Her focus lies on developing a feministic practice dealing with questions on how a community is constructed and how it develops it’s own narratives. Therefor she uses all different kind of media, but always starting from a performative approach toward each topic. Beside her own artistic practice she is working as a dramaturge and teaching at the Academy of fine Arts Vienna at the Performative Arts department.