GOODBYE WITTGENSTEIN

Mon, Jul 25th – Mon, Aug 8th 2016
Birmingham

GOODBYE WITTGENSTEIN takes a romantic love affair between the Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951) and his young friend David Hume Pinsent (1891 – 1918) and the 1913 mostly in Birmingham written “Notes on Logic”, the predecessor of the Tractatus Logico Philosophicus, as a starting point for a series of works in public space in Birmingham and Linz.

As part of an exchange program between artists and scientists from both cities real and fictive stories are interwoven to revive Wittgenstein. In Summer 2016 qujOchÖ will visit Birmingham to intervene at different places that are connected to the life of Wittgenstein and Pinsent. The work will be presented in a public talk at BOM Birmingham Open Media and at the monthly art event Digbeth First Friday.

In November 2016 a group of four artists around A3 Project Space will come to Linz, where Wittgenstein visited the technical orientated “K.u.k. Realschule” between 1903 and 1906. Emily Warner, Trevor Pitt, Pete Ashton and Mike Johnston will use their residence at Atelierhaus Salzamt and quitch there to go on the trail of the philosopher.

GOODBYE WITTGENSTEIN in BIRMINGHAM | works

I DESIRE LUDWIG’S HEAD FOR MY OWN PLEASURE
Sound Art in public space: 6 speakers.

THE MEANING OF DICTATION
Performative art in public space: old table with fold out stool, typewriter Adler No. 7 from 1911, paper, pencils, examples of phonetic transcriptions, audio recordings.

A LETTER TO DAVID
Media art: postcards, stamps, pencils.

CHAPEL OF THE LONELY HEARTS
Installation in public space: antique wooden wardrobe with mirror, color changing LED heart, photographs, excerpts from diary, flashlight, voice recording of spoken letter.

LOGIC := LOVE
Installation in public space: old wooden ladder, two parrots, two parrot cages.

(For further informations about the works, please scroll down.)

LOGIC := LOVE Video recordings of the two parrots (3:30 min)
(Camera/Editing: qujOchÖ)

I DESIRE LUDWIG’S HEAD FOR MY OWN PLEASURE audio files of Richard Strauss’ modulated opera “Salome”
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Download File 2

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THE MEANING OG DICTATION dictations themeaningofdictation_dictations
THE MEANING OF DICTATION audio recordings of the dictations (15 min)
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CHAPEL OF THE LONELY HEARTS audio recording of the read letter from Ellen Pinsent to Ludwig Wittgenstein (5 min)
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GOODBYE WITTGENSTEIN in BIRMINGHAM | exhibition

Participating in the monthly art event Digbeth First Friday qujOchÖ presented the outcome of the interventions realized in public space at the end of their stay in Birmingham.

All five works have been re-enacted in the exhibition space of the off space gallery Stryx. The nearly 300 visitors could once again enter the wardrobe to listen to Ellen Pinsent‘s voice, step up the ladder to watch the parrots saying „Logic“ and „Love“ on screens, type a dictation of notes on logic in German on the old typewriter, feel or even hear Richard Strauss‘ Salome in the sound-installation or finish the letter to David Pinsent.

Links:
http://a3projectspace.org
http://www.bom.org.uk
http://digbethfirstfriday.com
http://www.linz.at/kultur/salzamt.asp
http://mikeinmono.blogspot.co.at
http://emily-warner.com
http://www.podprojects.org
http://www.peteashton.com
http://www.britishwittgensteinsociety.org/wittgenstein-linz-birmingham-art-project
http://www.kunstforum.de/nachrichten.aspx?id=11973

Supported by Austrian Cultural Forum London, BKA Kunst, Land Oberösterreich and Stadt Linz. 

GOODBYE WITTGENSTEIN in BIRMINGHAM | More informations about the works

I DESIRE LUDWIG’S HEAD FOR MY OWN PLEASURE
Sound Art in public space: 6 speakers.

The very last Triennial Music Festival in Birmingham at the Town Hall was attended not only by the great and the good of the city, but also by the young Ludwig Wittgenstein and his young friend David on October 4 1912, during his first visit to Birmingham. Besides others the concerts featured excerpts from Richard Strauss’ opera „Salome“ which Wittgenstein avoided and Pinsent deemed „rot“. The opera itself – written by Oscar Wilde – was not without controversy at that time. Wittgenstein refused to listen to „Salome“, was annoyed, left the Town Hall and stood outside.

For this intervention parts of the performed opera at the Trienniale were modulated into ultra high frequencies and performed all around the Town Hall on July 29 2016 between 6 and 9 pm. The multi-channel sound installation turned the final scene of „Salome“ into a controversial piece of sonic weapon, in particular for the younger audience.

THE MEANING OF DICTATION
Performative art in public space: old table with fold out stool, typewriter Adler No. 7 from 1911, paper, pencils, examples of phonetic transcriptions, audio recordings.

On October 7 1913 Ludwig Wittgenstein dictated „Notes on Logic“ at the Berlitz School of Language in 32 Paradise Street. He recited his work on logic in German language.

For this work passers-by in Paradise Street had been stopped and asked to re-enact the dictation. Sitting on a table they were asked to type down what they phonetically heard of „Notes on Logic“, read in German language, by using an old typewriter. Afterwards the people read aloud their own notes on logic, which was audio recorded.

A LETTER TO DAVID
Media art: postcards, stamps, pencils.

Correspondence from David Pinsent to Ludwig Wittgenstein places David lodging at 105 Harborne Road, Edgbaston in Birmingham, in summer 1914. The house was run by Miss Gertrude Dale who was a friend of the Pinsent family.

In a series of letters in June and July David expressed the hope of seeing Ludwig again around August 1914. The last time they had seen each other was in October 1913, when they said goodbye before Wittgenstein left to live in Norway. Both had been planning to holiday together again but with the outbreak of hostilities it was never to be, and they would never see each other again. David Pinsent died in an airplane accident in May 1918. What could have been the most important thing Wittgenstein was not able to tell Pinsent before he left Birmingham?

This work invites people to finish Ludwig‘s letter to David and send the prepaid postcard to the current owner of 105 Harborne Road, 80 year old Mr. Thomas Andrew Donoghue.

The collected postcards will be presented at a later time.

CHAPEL OF THE LONELY HEARTS
Installation in public space: antique wooden wardrobe with mirror, color changing LED heart, photographs, excerpts from diary, flashlight, voice recording of spoken letter.

David‘s father Hume Pinsent curtailed his retirement during the First World War and returned to Pinsent & Co. He and his wife Ellen lived in Little Wick, a cottage in the grounds of Selly Wick House, the home of Hume‘s brother Richard.

It was from here in July 1918 that Ellen wrote to Ludwig Wittgenstein to inform him of David‘s death who was killed in a flying accident on May 8, 1918: „I want to tell you how much he loved you and valued your friendship up to the last. I saw him the day before he was killed and we talked of you. He spoke of you always with great affection [...]“

Wittgenstein replied: „David was my first and my only friend. I have indeed known many young men of my own age and have been on good terms with some, but only in him did I find a real friend, the hours I have spent with him have been the best in my life, he was to me a brother and a friend. Daily I have thought of him and have longed to see him again. God will bless him.“

The installation consisted of an antique wooden walk-in wardrobe placed on the pavement of Selly Wick House. Inside there was complete darkness. A strange atmosphere between anxiety and intimacy spread.

Random passers-by were asked to enter the wardrobe. By doing so and sitting down inside of the wardrobe the voice of an old woman could be heard reading the letter from Ellen Pinsent to Wittgenstein with a noble Birmingham accent. By using a flashlight the inside of the wardrobe could be examined to discover photos and selected diary entries of the beloved David.

LOGIC := LOVE
Installation in public space: old wooden ladder, two parrots, two parrot cages.

44 Lordswood Road was the family house of the Pinsents‘. Wittgenstein stayed here twice – once from October 4 to 5 1912, on his return from a holiday with David Pinsent in Iceland and once from October 6 to 8 1913, after holidaying with David in Norway. October 8 1913 is also the last time the two friends saw each other. Apart from a small section of the boundary wall on Lordswood Road and two old trees, the home of the Pinsent family has been demolished and redeveloped as Weather Oaks, built in the 1970s.

This work refers to the internal struggle of Wittgenstein and Pinsent and their life between reason and emotion, to „Notes on Logic“ and to the famous last part of the „Tractatus Logico Philosophicus“. An old wooden ladder was leaned against the wall of 44 Lordswood Road. Behind the wall one could hear two strange voices, one yelling the word „Love“, the other one yelling the word „Logic“. By stepping up the ladder and peeking over the wall one could see two parrots in cages talking to each other. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. Logic and Love are incompatible.