Sunday 2nd October 2016, 9:30pm
Getaway #21: Ilona Ruegg
Ilona Ruegg chose this Sunday’s getaway destination. *)
– A friend wanted to introduce us. This was years ago but never happened. And sometimes Zurich is a village, and sometimes it’s not. You never know if you run into someone, by chance, even three times on the same day; or if your established circulation patterns prevent you from ever meeting.
When Ilona Ruegg walked along on one of the rainiest getaways ever, she told me she was working her way towards sculpting time; inserting and extracting elements into or from everyday processes, changing the flow of circulation. When I intended to add her name to the newsletter list, it was already on it. –
*) Mirjam Bayerdörfer invited Ilona Ruegg for the twentyfirst Outside Sunday.
In darkness we start our way along lines of light, towards bright islands, illuminated beauty.
Ilona tells the story of returning to Zurich. Was it a sort of coming home? I couldn’t tell. You’d have to ask her again.
She mentions time. Being away for something like 15 years.
In the meantime the age of the LED had begun.
So when she returned, the Hardbrücke, once the incarnation of filth and pitch black darkness, had been turned into a remarkable piece of construction at night. We follow the LED cables all the way to Hardbrücke station.
By 2016 the whole city seems to have entered the phase of its own reconstruction. Following the laws of representational re-design.
Road works wherever you go, the ground opening up, surfaces torn apart, vast, fenced areas that shift their shape, slowly, amorphly, opening up passage ways and closing them again in a logic of their own.
While we pass the road works that stretch underneath and spill onto the bridge. Someone recalls the time when there were parties taking place there, one level down, in a constructed void that was no longer used, or never even had been, I don’t remember clearly now. The entrance may have been a bit towards Escher-Wyss-Platz. There was a moment in time, when it was officially possible to have a load of drunken und drugged people in the underground, with consent of the city. Unimaginable these days.
Gazing through the fence we try to associate materials and machines and techniques, the impact of forces, weight, organization, and human bodies.
How much you need.
How all of it remains in order properly stacked at the side of the road. Ilona calls it Haushalt. She’s attracted by its logic. She points towards its beauty.
How nobody steals or breaks it, because it’s Switzerland. Unimaginable anywhere else.
We pass a site with a steep excavation where they are fixing a rotten tube.
How much material you need to take away before you get to/at it. How many tubes there are buried in the ground. All sizes, all colours.
How much material you need to add in order to secure the digging, in order to be able to work down there.
At Stampfenbachstrasse a whole stage set is expecting us: Fully equipped with actors. We’re invited into the VIP corner, the one without traffic, to have a closer look. One of the workers takes on the role of the narrator, explaining in detail. They’re changing the tram rails. Every ten years. Three workers are moving synchroni along the rails, in a dance, with tools that seem to be theater props due to their sheer size. They need to be that big so people from far away, in the ranks far off, can still recognize them and follow the storyline.