Image of Fragile Traces | Reflection of Fragile Traces

Roman Bath near Praterstern

Kay Sallier

Spoils of a vanished world—the few extant documents, floor plans and pictures of the Roman Bath built in 1873 at Praterstern in Vienna show the fading copy of a romanticized bathing complex imagined inside of an architectural yesterday. This place, having been forgotten and absorbed into profane nature, symptomatically stands for the fragility of historic buildings in Leopoldstadt. The remaining fragments reflect the traces of a time, when prosaically experienced reality was exchanged for a phantasmagorical dream world.
The project repeatedly transforms this place into an island (on the island of Leopoldstadt), that was once characterized by arms of water and alluvial forests and then changed into a staged space. The newly generated bathing landscape is a deformed, theatrical reflection, transmitting blurring, fluid and ephemeral silhouettes of space of the former building. Therein the dialectic of cover—uncover, emerge—submerge, sharpness—blur on a tactile and visual level forms a spatial transcript of the former bath.

 

Image of Fragile Traces | Reflection of Fragile Traces

Roman Bath near Praterstern

Kay Sallier

The reflexive and replicating character of historicism as well as its soft focus on history are methodically corrupted, referencing Echo mythology, traces fade and are superimposed by themselves into a speculative and imagined palimpsest. Through design, atmosphere and phenomenology, this work projects previously collected material and enquires about the ambiguity of reference—quotation, original—copy, image—reflection.

Advisors: Michelle Howard | August Sarnitz | Oliver Domeisen