text by Berthold Reiß
21 x 27 cm, 64 pages
published by Strzelecki Books
Public Paranoia - text by Laura Amann
Municipal Authority of Prague 1/ Vodi?kova 681/18, Nové M?sto 50°04'45.9"N 14°25'22.1"E
Stone Bell House
A parallel map of the city inhabited by a mole-like creature exploring long forgotten theses of Neptunists and Plutonists. What lies beneath the surface unfolds in front of your very eyes.
Public Paranoia, 2018
Lisa Reitmeier creates a fictional narrative based on an assemblage of true events and literary stories related to the often neglected subterranean infrastructures of the city which finds its translation in a series of sculptures, installations and drawings appropriately displayed in the vitrines of the Municipal Authority of Prague 1 and in a more extended form in the cellar of the Stone Bell House.
From Goethe’s many visits to Karlsbad, where he worked on geological research while selling stones to the tourists that went there for cure, to Kafka’s metaphorical story “The Burrow”, Reitmeier brings to our attention ignored spaces and protagonists of urban lives lead in the underground.
Goethe was a so called Neptunist and believed a primordial lake to be the origin of all stones whereas the rivalling group of Plutonists was convinced that volcanoes created all geological elements.
The mole-like being of ‘The Burrow’ creates his life in an elaborate system of tunnels it has built over the course of its life - serving as a metaphor for the many passages and underground systems of Prague, be it the metro, historical catacombs or the vastest data cable network in Europe - which create almost a parallel pedestrian system - but also bigger issues of who owns the ground and what happens there, when we are used to often only look at the surface of the city. Even though it seems almost like a cliché to deal with Kafka when working in Prague - exactly this notion relates to what tourists very often come to see and what the city itself is exploiting as its cultural capital. Parallely, these hidden spaces of the public sphere not only stratify the geology and infrastructure of a city but also reflect parallel lines of social strata for instance providing temporary shelter for the homeless.
In Reitmeier’s installations different fields and notions from geology, architecture, fashion, collecting, psychoanalysis, surveillance and history converge and become a medium to observe, discover and rethink the city differently.