“To be human is to have a Utopia.” (Christian Boltanski)
As humans we recognize ourselves by remembering. This is the evidence of existing in a chronological context, which forms identity. The loss of memory can lead to a serious identity crises. But memory hasn’t to be true implicitly as scientific research learned us: to remember is a flexible process, which always adapts to an optimized learning for the future.
People collect proofs like photographs, documents and letters to verify their memories. I follow from this an existential doubt: Can I trust memory? Who am I really? If I don't leave any traces, have I ever existed?
In this area of conflict I am interested in man’s subjective sensations and his capability to remember, to forget, to associate and to create - consciously or not - his own Utopia.
My work ranges in transition of photography and video, of visual and sonic relevance. Especially the interface between the disciplines I am interested of: photography as a time-based medium - video as a static image - sound as a catalyzer of visual imagination.
Laudatio, Art Prize of the town of Krumbach/DE, 12.03.2013, for the art work home is somewhere else:
"In the first moment it sounds tautological, but triggers some questions then: Is it possible to find home again? Is it possible to have it only in the past or is home finally a utopia or a trauma? These general questions comprehends and handles Eri Kassnel in a very personal and quiet way, which yet doesn’t exclude the beholder, but attracts him by sensual presence: (…) the photographs are to some extent historic relics, but to even bigger extent own pictures of the artist, most of them snapshots out of the moving car; in so doing the travelling, the searching, the not-being-at-home is approached. At the same time the new pictures, which where coated by a digital patina, reflect the complexity of the search for a home: they are pictures of longing and fake together; they ever and anon try to acquire the past and search for one’s position in the present. The art piece is no spectacular eye-catcher – it is a calm, consequently configured work. It develops more aspects and touches more strings, the more you do it at your leisure."