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installation/Switzerland

21: Memories of Growing Up

Mats Staub

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Australian Premiere

  • About

    When did you turn 21? What happened in that year? Swiss artist Mats Staub has discussed these questions with over 100 people of various ages and backgrounds: the oldest person talks about 1939, the youngest about 2015. We listen to the experience of a German village girl, a member of the Hitler Youth who turned 21 at the end of WW II, and a young British geezer whose failed career as a drummer at 21 led to a traineeship with an Italian tailor and an unexpected trajectory to Saville Row.

    Staub recorded their stories and then had them listen to their own answers three months later, while filming their facial expressions. The result is a moving and totally absorbing video installation in which you can spend half an hour or half a week viewing and listening to these video portraits and stories.

    The exhibition has travelled from city to city, growing as it accumulates stories from across the world including a selection from Adelaide locals. We’re global citizens, so we’re told, but it often feels like we’re retreating further and further within our borders, our homes, our cyber headspaces. To experience this exhibition is to feel the unexpected joy of intimacy and empathy with strangers.

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  • Credits

    Idea, Concept, Direction Mats Staub
    Scenography Monika Schori
    Camera Matthias Stickel, Benno Seidel, Sifiso Khanyile
    Sound Andrea Brunner, Mandla Nkuna
    Collaboration Olivia Ebert, Sandra Li Maennel (Frankfurt), Wolfram Sander (Hannover), Nadine Tobler (Bern, Zurich), Edin Omanovic (Belgrade), Franziska Jenni (Basel), Elisabeth Schack (Vienna), Abby Middleton (Brighton), David Tushingham (Woodchurch), Inga Wagner (Freiburg), Maia Marie, Nomonde Mbusi (Johannesburg) Milou de Boer (Groningen)
    Translation David Tushingham
    Technical Equipment Hanno Sons, Stefan Göbel
    Production Management Elisabeth Schack
    Production zwischen_produktionen

    Supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.
    The Adelaide Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of the State Library of South Australia.
    Pro Helvetia

    Image Nurith Wagner-Strauss

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