narrative urbanism. 2008

City is change. Walking as urbanist practice. »Every story is a travel story—a spatial practice.«

This project started with a city stroll exploring sites and questioning transformation in the small city of Waidhofen/Ybbs in Austria. Inspired ideationally by Michel de Certeau and led conceptually by Elke Krasny, historic and current uses of the city were revealed through walking an everyday itinerary with a citizen of Waidhofen. The act of telling the city as participatory approach was a prerequisite for the exchange between student and citizen/city-expert, but also for the process of capturing the seen and the envisioned through image and writing.
I accompanied curator Theresia Hauenfels and her four-year-old son on their way from her gallery home and back via an alternative route. She was asked to document places that were important to her personally, or that had undergone severe change throughout the years, via an instant camera (Polaroid). In the process, personal, urban and historic narratives were revealed. The conversation, the stories she told and pictures she/they took were recorded and later transcribed to create a cartographic/chorographic image of the history and vision of Waidhofen/Ybbs. Questions about place- and city-making emerged.

The conclusions of this work were presented and discussed by city researcher and cultural theorist Elke Krasny at the symposium and exhibition Kunst - Landschaft - Architektur | Art - Landscape - Architecture in October 2008.