Wolfgang Huber Lang: M (48° 15′ 24.13″ N, 14° 30′ 6.31″ E)
“Mauthausen. In Austria, probably also in the rest of Europe, and possibly even all over the world, the name of this Upper Austrian town with a history of nearly 1000 years can never be heard neutrally again. Between 1938 and 1945, at least 90,000 people were killed at the Mauthausen concentration camp and its sub-camps.
The chosen exihibtion title could not be more ojective M 48° 15’ 24.13’’ N, 14° 30’ 6.31’’ E, these are the coordinates of Mauthausen.
Zink’s aim is not to document, but to irritate. He forces us to take a closer look and opens up a multi-faceted discussion. His goal is to make a dual disappearance visible: the extinction of people and the eradication of memories. An intensive critical examination of the past, that is not subject to the statute of limitations.
The art form Marko Zink has chosen is analogue photography. He subjects the films to treatment before exposing them. He cooks or punches them, treats them with chlorine or ink eraser. With this delicate film material, he takes photos of selected places within or outside the former concentration camp. The photos are presented in a variety of media, for example as panorama images, as three-way pictures, where perspectives change erratically, as well as conceptual developments. In one of the works, Zink shows a room in which 500 prisoners were held, using a screen of 500 individual photos, each of them in a slightly shifted perspective symbolizing 500 pairs of eyes gazing through the window: “View into nothing”.
At times, Zink’s photographs seem like historic objects, taken quickly and secretly, bleached by the sun, half destroyed by the impact of time. Sometimes the photos with their defects seem to give an account of the atrocities that took place here less than eight decades ago at a separate level. And sometimes they seem to make visible what only seemingly cannot be seen anymore. With his work, Marko Zink reminds us that it is possible: what is a reminder of the past and what is a warning of things to come. Everything could be seen. If only we wanted to see.”
Text will be published in the forthcoming catalogue: M 48° 15′ 24.13″ N, 14° 30′ 6.31″ E – the eradication of memories. August 2019.
Texts by: Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein, Wolfgang Huber Lang, Thomas Licek, Gudrun Blohberger, Bertrand Perz, Christian Dürr, Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek, Marija Nujic, Barbara Glück and Marko Zink