This work is based on a text by Martin Heidegger on the origin of art. A series of photographs preceded this cd, shot at the «Cloisters» in New York. I went there because I was asked to do a show in my hometown in Austria. As I wanted to include the audience into the show and work on the collective memory of the village, I proposed to do a photo reportage on the 14th century glass panels of the church of the village. They were partly sold in the 30s to America in order to pay for the reconstruction of the burnt-down steeple and are now at the «Cloisters» in New York.
I was interested in the shifting of meaning of an object by the simple fact of it changing the location, and in the attitudes we have towards those objects, which is changing considerably depending on the place we see them in.
Reconsidering the work, I was unhappy with the rigid aspect of the photographs, so I decided to make a sound piece, using the sounds of the bells of the steeple, the origin of the whole trouble, parts of the mess service inside the church, and excerpts of texts by Heidegger’s “Off the beaten track”, Benjamin and Böll.
The title of the work plays around with the notion ur-werk: the primordial work of art, and with Uhr-werk, which means clockwork.
voices: martin tessen, yvonne clar, christina clar, steeple bells of bad st. leonhard
texts: martin heidegger: off the beaten track, walter benjamin: the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction, heinrich böll: billiards at half-past nine and other borrowed and freely compiled statements
thanks to yvonne clar und alain michon