Anna Barfuss

TransArts/Die Angewandte x Sonic Territories // Curated by Richard Eigner

01 -04 Juli 2021
Eva-Maria-Mazzucco Platz 2, 1220 Wien

Daily 3pm – 8pm / Täglich 15-20 Uhr
Individual Tours: Smartphone Festivalguide-App 
Guided Tours: Daily 5pm / Täglich 17 Uhr


POOL EXERCISES Multimediale Installation (Video, Sound, Glasfaser, Neopren) 

Am Seeufer der Seestadt sind Atem- und Schwimmgeräusche zu hören. Dazu kann, optional im intimen Setting des kleinen Strand-Zelts aus Neopren, ein Video angesehen werden, das eine Schwimmerin zeigt, die Kraulen als neue Technik übt. Der Blick der Kamera beschreibt eine Nähe, in der der Körper zwar fragmentiert in Close-ups erscheint, zugleich aber auch als trainierbare Einheit imaginiert wird, als Träger eines Körpergedächtnisses, das die Rhythmen der Bewegung genauso erinnert wie Berührungen oder Traumen. Puls und Atemfrequenz, beide beinflussbar durch Training, zeigen Zustände sowohl von Überforderung wie auch Erregung an. Beschleunigtes Atmen, erhöhter Puls, das Plantschen und Spritzen, das der sich durch das Wasser bahnende Körper erzeugt ergeben eine klangliche Spiegelung, die jedoch in wiederholten Abständen störgeräuschhafte Trübungen erfährt, bevor wie in Caravaggios Gemälde Narziss der Loop der Selbstbetrachtung im Spiegelbild zu befriedigend werden kann. 

One arm reaches out as far forward as possible, breaks the surface of the water – a gentle splash – with the palm slightly turned out and elbow almost fully extended; then, with your arm stretched out fully, you glide forward in a streamlined position. Next, the palm turns slightly towards the middle axis to “catch” the water. The hand pulls back while the elbow bends, and one’s full power can go into the pull as the arm extends out towards the back. The hand, now relaxed, begins to extend forward again. As it passes the shoulders, the body rolls towards the other side. The head turns slightly sidewards, in the direction of the rotation, in order to breathe, with half of the face still beneath the surface of the water. As the hand enters the water, you should be fully into the breath. When the hand initiates the catch, the head turns back to its straight position for the underwater exhale. 

In rhythmic movements, body rotations follow the controlled beat of the arm entering the water and the sound of breathing at every third stroke (or every fourth, among various possibilities), accompanied by the splashes of steadily alternating leg kicks. Voices and splashes, amplified in the world of echoes to which indoor pools give rise, intermingle with the various rhythms of different bodies swimming their laps. As signs imbued with corporeality, they each trace back to a specific body. The sound of heavy breathing accompanies the beginner practising the front crawl. It indicates a proximity to other states of arousal, to bodily encounters. 

(A short excerpt from: Anna Barfuss, Swim Sounds. First published in: Armin Lorenz Gerold (Hrsg.) Manuel- Or A Suggestion Of Evil, Ruisdale Stipendium 2021)

Anna Barfuss works within the fields of fine art and theory, with a focus on video, installation, sound and photography. Her artistic practice draws on the experiences of everyday culture, memory and interpersonal relationships and the grinding of transient lifestyles. She currently works with fabrics and materials that through their functionality refer to the body and initiate questions around possible acts, intimacy, therapy and poetic tools. In her theoretical research Anna Barfuss aims to conceptualize the body, subjectivity and interconnectedness in relation to digital culture. She writes essays and reviews that were published in cultural magazines (Camera Austria International, Springerin) and catalogues. Barfuss also curated exhibitions in various formats, mainly exploring moving images and sound in relation to economic and affective spaces, as in Erholungsgebiet Industriegebiet at Fluc, Vienna (2015). Screenings and performative lectures include: Longtang, Zurich (2019), Tangente at ArtReview Bar, London (2017) and This could be in focus!, Austrian Cultural Forum, London (2017), How far to open up?, Forum Stadtpark, Graz (2017).

Picture: © Anna Barfuss