In Lara Ögel’s videos, nature, light, color, sound, and memories intertwine with one another just like a storage box. A leaf, a wall or an old image remains in its own world, as the way it was etched in memory. But at the same time, this subjective memory pushes itself towards the external world. A memory that opens up to the public always processes itself as a
“collective memory”. Every personal moment coincides here with the collective
“Dream lives of debris (and what has location may be approached)” starts with a leaf and the verses from Goethe’s West-Eastern Diwan.1 A single leaf stands for its own duality. This is how even a single leaf becomes collective. Just as how psychoanalysis maintains that the individual’s ego is a split ego, the leaf here does not exist as a single leaf; it splits. This splitting pushes the leaf towards the space of plurality, i.e. the public space. What belongs to it is brought to the public space. We see the same splitting in the image where a photo taken from the bottom vantage point shows a tree as if split, like two human legs, through the sunlight reﬂecting on the tree. Every splitting that opens up to the public reminds us that the conﬁdante and the private disseminates in the public. This is because when a conﬁdante memory explores the way to what is hidden in a labyrinth, it carries the secret to the outside. The video navigates us from the world of the Middle Ages to the world of today in all but an unchanging structure. Is the memory a structure that opens up to the public in a transhistorical manner? Is it structural? Are the tattoos and symbols that are etched in the body a part of the symbols that come from within history? In this case, the memory is “structural” because all these remain hidden in nature’s own knowledge.
In “What (else) grows in the dark”, Lara Ögel metaphorically lays bare her internal world through the coming out of a root from the darkness, from the depth of earth. She opens the mushroom, i.e. an object of nature, to the public and unearths it. The artist shows that a mushroom uprooted by a living man is like a living creature that is thrown to the world, entirely revealed to the public. She portrays the mushroom almost like a scientiﬁc laboratory object. This natural object, now a scientiﬁc object, shows itself to
the public through these images. A mushroom that is born out of darkness and makes itself visible through emerging to the surface is now displayed to the public.
1 “This tree, entrusted by the East onto my garden-ground doth show / A leaf whose hidden sense can feast/ Their hearts who are skilled to know./ Is it one living being that doth/ One life through dear division run?/ Or are these two, self-chosen/ and both fain to be known as one./ The meaning true I well divine/ Whereby to make such riddles plain;/Feelest thou not in these songs of mine/ That I am one and twain?
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, The West-Eastern Diwan, Translated by Edward Dowden
Click here to view brochure.