Here, three project I choose to propose you, with narrative/story telling TAG.
The first one is a simple project realized in Linz for the European Cultural Capital 2009. “IN SITU Relocating Contemporary History: National Socialism” main aim is to make the multi-layered dimensions of Nazi extermination policies more visible into daily perceptions.
65 locations in the city center whose historical significance is related to the implementation of persecutory measures under the Nazi tyranny, are captioned by stencil spray short texts. A website maps all the sites and explains the whole project.
Dagmar Höss, Monika Sommer and Heidemarie Uhl are the project initiators.
Photo credits Matthias Zifko
JR is a well-known street artist that works on black and white photographic portraits posted in public space. I had the chance to attend one of JR’s speaking and I finally realized the importance of his works: these posters open to dialogue. People find out their own narration in JR works and also in the making of, which is always an open process that the artist share with people. In Kibera slums, JR with his team and residents cover the roof of the houses with some big portraits of local women. Other portraits, posted on a nearby hill, combine themselves with the train texture, making a lovely surprise to slums inhabitants.
I see this work as storytelling because it speaks about, or better, it shout out the necessity of attention we have to pay to women’s role. Thanks to TED 2011 prize, JR started an Inside Out project whose aim is to give everybody the possibility of printing one portrait: it’s an act of freezing personal identity into public space, as a participatory exhibition about our present society face.
Photos via JR website
The most poetic project I propose you, is the “Monument against fascism” by Esther Shalev-Gerz and Jochen Gerz, situated in a public area in Harburg (neighbourhood of Hamburg, Germany), realized in 1986. This permanent monument initially presented itself as a 1 lead–clad column with aluminium structure (12 m x 1 m x 1 m). The artists wanted residents to ratify public statement about fascism by engraving their names directly on the column surface.
“We invite the citizens of Harburg, and visitors to the town, to add their names here to ours. In doing so we commit ourselves to remain vigilant. As more and more names cover this 12 metre-high lead column, it will gradually be lowered into the ground. One day it will have disappeared completely and the site of the Harburg monument against fascism will be empty. In the long run, it is only we ourselves who can stand up against injustice.”*
Today the column is completely buried but it still carries on the memories and testimony of the residents’ will in saying no to fascism. The object, the monument itself, is a catalyst, not an end in itself, but rather a way of placing the burden and responsibility of history in the minds of the people who visit it.**
Photos via Shalev-Gerz website
* Retrieved from http://www.shalev-gerz.net/EN/index.html#/1980-89/monument/monument1
** Retrieved from http://www.facinghistory.org/resources?opendocument