The Factory II

Installation, 2015

HD-Video, 26 min. 19 sec.
HD-Video, 10 min.
photograph, 58,5 cm x 41,5 cm
Book with staged-reading-script
Fanfold with printed research material

»The Factory II« by Johanna Tinzl, consisting of a film, sound and printed material, is the outcome of the artist’s six-month-long research about the Schoeller-Bleckmann steel factory and its deep correlation with the city of Ternitz in Lower Austria. Through the information that Tinzl gathers from the history of the factory, which is deeply connected to the history and the development of Ternitz, it is possible to have a glance at 20th century history of Austria – and Europe – in a broader sense.
This film shows the former administrative building of the factory, built in the 60s but now vacant, hosting a choir of young women from Ternitz. They re-enact a script based on an interview that was conducted by the artist with elderly women who were connected to the factory.
The sound, recorded from the blacksmith’s hammer, was composed by the artist based on the number of workers actively working in the factory between the years 1900 and 2000. While usually the robust sound of the collective hammering proudly reassures the city residents that the economy is good, the calendar desolately shows the year 1945. Or when the city has a bit of a quiet time from the factory, it indicates the beginning of the worldwide steel crisis at the end of the 70ies. By choosing a notoriously male-dominated field of work (that is also influential in the war industry), the artist invites women voices of this particular narration and critically analyses the socio-economic dynamics of recent history.

Text: Isin Önol

The Factory, installation views, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, 2015