Heuwender Busse 9 8 7 5 4 3 2 1 Bierfaesser

Art in the public domain

The project, BilderEcho (EchoImages), submitted in a competition in the state of Tyrol in 2011, was selected by the jury as one of the winners. It addresses the complex and ambivalent tension between man and nature, between public interests and natural environments. Photographs from Tyrolean areas used for tourism were and glued to existing large billboards. Their traditional function is to carry advertising messages. They work on the visual level through pictures and writing, and are primarily positioned at busy points in order to reach the widest possible consumer audience.

Instead of advertising a consumer product, series of photographic motifs were presented on billboards in multiple repetitions at different locations offering a critical and reflective viewpoint. Two lines of text taken from the danger warning signs placed at the borders of ski runs were constantly repeated although – in a slightly modified form. These two lines were intended to be perceived as deliberately imitating the legally prescribed hazard warning labels on cigarette packages. The transfer of the artistically motivated images to places that normally act as an advertising medium is intended as a temporary visual intervention. For this “art in the public domain” no new space is created, but a medium which already exists in the public domain (a culturally foreign sector) is used and its function transformed.

Lois Hechenblaikner