Heisei 32
Therese Wagner
Artist Statement
A sentimental journey from a parallel present, to a past and a possible future. It is Heisei 32 – another year of 2020 – and I am getting lost in-between memory and vision. In 2020 the world got shifted upside down. What if one era, be it Heisei or Showa, would have continued, and 2020 as we know it never happened? Set in a timeframe that does not exist, this project is asking questions about parallelisms and distances of time and place, exploring the in-between. The in-between being neither one nor the other. Neither past nor future, reality nor fiction. But also as a piece of work neither exclusively analogue or digital, and its origin partly being Japan as well as Austria. “Heisei 32” is a hazy dream of a time that has passed or might have never existed, transcending time and space, tracing nostalgia for another possible version of now.
Visiting Japan during the last weeks of the Heisei era, I sensed a strong confidence for the future Europe was completely lacking at the time. The time shift between Japan and Austria had never felt as big to me before. But then, just a year later, the two seemed almost in sync. “Heisei 32” is blurring the division into then, now and after. It’s a culmination of personal memories and a product of the current times in which lockdown makes people want to “turn back time”. But it’s also a reminder for what is to be overcome after the current convulsions.
Artist Bio
Therese Wagner is a Vienna based creator born 1987 in southern Austria, with an educational background in graphic and communication design, photography and japanese studies from universities in Vienna and Tokyo. Using multiple media, from photography and video to ceramics and books, she likes to explore the intersections of art and design. Her works are centered around the themes of identity, language, observing the whitespace, the unidentifiable, unnoticed or “in-between”, and were presented in group exhibitions in Künstlerhaus, Albertina and designforum in Vienna, as well as Design Festa Gallery in Tokyo.