SilvrettAtelier 2018

2018

The SilvrettAtelier 2018 was a privileged experience: our group was supported by attentive staff and given unusual access to the facilities of an economically and culturally exclusive region. As raw as the mountain landscape seems, our experience of it is shaped and filtered by the institutions and structures that make it accessible: the tourism and culture industry, the ski area administration, local industry, the built infrastructure, human resources, and services such as the restaurant in which we lived. We can become so used to these support structures that they are no longer remarkable: we filter them out. Like wearing sunglasses, we lose sight of settings as we adjust to them. We only see environmental conditions when they first appear or when we are still strangers to them.

I explored this edge condition of filters in the Nova Stoba gondolas. I applied transparent coloured film to the windows to create the interwoven gingham pattern which is common in the area, and thus unremarkable. Inside the gondola, if you remain close to the window you may only see a landscape, and may even forget that it is coloured. But if your gaze moves, the overall pattern becomes visible as you experience colour effects where the films begin or overlap. Your sense of enclosure may also shift; while a uniformly filtered view makes the windows feel invisible, perceiving a patterned screen makes you aware of the structures and surfaces that surround and separate you from the world outside.

Living in staff accommodations in this mountain resort, I also thought about various ways in which people without privilege intersect with exclusive systems, and the unofficial economies that support tourism. Thinking about the co-existence of excess and need, I scavenged from the service and storage areas discarded fruit cartons, broken ski markers, mixed screws, and a sturdy cart, to build a small, mobile structure resembling a traditional Mexican palapa, the beach shelter which is a global icon for tourism. This quirky palapa is a sort of interloper in this tourist space.

Group Exhibitions: SilvrettAtelier Montafon 2018, 2019.

Germaine Koh, Film for a moving frame, 2018, Installations with transparent plastic film on gondola windows. photo G. Koh