On the occasion of the graduate exhibition 2023 Grotto at Danziger Platz 12, Ian Waelder received the graduate prize of the Städelschule Portikus e.V., endowed with € 2,000.
b. 1993 in Madrid
class of Haegue Yang, Peter Fischli
The work displayed for my graduation first shows a modification of the space. And as the viewers enter, they hear someone is whistling.
From Time to Time (2022-2023) is a site-specific work composed of two switched-on car headlights and suspended in the middle of the room, at the height of my eyes. Each of them points to one wall. The headlights are from an Opel Olympia from 1935, a model my grandfather and his family owned in Stuttgart at the time. This vehicle was of key importance for his escape in 1939, four months after the Kristallnacht.
My grandfather, Friedrich Waelder, was a jazz pianist and photographer from Stuttgart. He exiled to Chile –where he changed his name to Federico– and lived in Antofagasta until his death in 1989, still under the Pinochet dictatorship. In 2017, by moving to Frankfurt for my studies in Städelschule, I marked the first generation of my family to return to Germany after his escape.
The sound piece one hears in the background, As Far As I Can Recall (2022), is a one-take recording of myself whistling from memory the only existing trace of my grandfather‘s music: a 7-minute-long recording of a piano improvisation that my father found years ago in a cassette. The whistling piece lasts 13 minutes.
The jury of the Graduate Prize 2023, kindly sponsored by Städelschule Portikus e.V. and Sammlung Pohl gGmbH, consists of Devrim Bayar (Curator, KANAL - Centre Pompidou), Lutz Behrendt (Representative, Städelschule Portikus e.V.), Dr. Ana Pohl (Managing Director, Sammlung Pohl), Prof. Yasmil Raymond (Rector, Städelschule and Director, Portikus).
With support from Städelschule Portikus e.V.