The project researches the way Austria was (and still is) dealing with its history by looking at policies and practices regarding landscape and memory. The project is based on a series of landscape photographs from all over Austria, shot through a spirit level (bubble level). The selection of the landscapes in this series is based on a research on their histories and the memory related to them. Analysis of these landscapes and their stories reveals policies of memory and history in Austria, mainly but not only in respect to its National Socialist past.
The spirit level is a precision measurement tool; it is the precondition for leveling grounds and constructing new realities and evidence. It provides a visual assurance and a sense of reliability, and is commonly used as a tool in photography to assure a “natural” perception of the landscape. It is usually embedded in the photography equipment itself, and remains always “backstage” and invisible in the final image. Landscape, one of the first subjects of photography, and one of the most captured, is neither neutral nor innocent.
The project raises questions regarding how we perceive and want landscape to be rendered; what is an acceptable and desired form of depicting and designing a landscape. It invites a reading in the context of the debate regarding the creation of historical and national histories.