A live action in Countepoints II Kunst in Grafenegg Park, AU, and a video at the entrance of the castle, 2018








During the Soviet occupation (1945-1955) Grafenegg was expropriated by the Soviets and placed under an organisation which was called USIA (in Russian: УСИА, short for Управление советским имуществом в Австрии, Administration of the Soviet Property in Austria). 

The general manager of Grafenegg at the time was a Russian called Schukovsky. At some point Mr. Schukovsky had planned to demolish the entire castle but this was stopped after the local population protested against this move to the overall head of the UCIA, General Smirnoff in Vienna. 

It was also his plan to turn the historic gardens into fields. While we have no written proof about this, legend has it that this initiative was stopped due to the influence of his wife who liked to walk her dog in the gardens. If this is true, the park owes its fate to a dog. One can also imagine that the lady was touched by the spaniel sculpture next to the Bully dog's grave in the park. 

Since then, five other dogs of the domain have been buried around the sculpture, forming the necropolis of a silent horde. 

The intention we propose is to honour the dogs, especially the dog walk ritual, imagining that their souls follow a walker, one or more times a day during this spring and summer of 2018. 

To express the essence and the energy of Bully, Benji, Queeny, Teddy, Tipsy and Missy, who knew intimately the park, we projected, in this first part of the 21st century, a walker followed by small drones, whose strolls in the air, despite their status as robots, have some kind, in our eyes, of animal behaviour. 

For logistical reasons, the walker will be accompanied by three drones instead of six (number of dogs that rest in the park) during his walks. The walker will be dressed in a contemporary regional costume. 

To make the piece visible to visitors who come at a time when there is no walk, a screen divided into three parts will be installed somewhere in the domain. Each of the three views will be the result of the film that the three tracking drones will have made at a given walk. We can imagine renewing the films recorded by the drones in early summer and early fall.