Siegrun Appelt with Constanze Müller
Can a balance be found between the preservation of nature and its use by humans – on the one hand as the basis of life and on the other hand as the object of their will to shape it? This is one of the central questions Siegrun Appelt and Constanze Müller are concerned with.
Voice recordings constitute the core of their installation Habitat, with texts whispered by children who enter into a dialogue with each other.
Here, the children are given a voice as representatives of the coming generation and future decision-makers. Although the texts for Habitat are formulated in a childlike language that can be understood by everyone, they are explicitly directed at adults, today's decision-makers.
The film El espiritu de la colmena (1973), by Spanish director Victor Erice, was an inspiration for Appelt and Müller. In the movie, two girls talk insistently about life and their fears and their whispering unfolds a mood of existential urgency, creating an intimate atmosphere.
The texts stem from interviews conducted by Siegrun Appelt and Constanze Müller with scientists and experts from the Velux Daylight Academy on the topics of climate protection, sustainability, health and daylight. The aim is not only to outline problems, but also to point out possible solutions.
The original German installation, titled Lebensraum, was created in 2021 for an exhibition at the Museum for Applied Arts Vienna as part of the Vienna Biennale for Change 2021. The artwork was created in cooperation with the Daylight Academy of the Velux Foundation in Zurich and the Opera School of the Vienna State Opera. The installation was revised and adapted to English for Lighten Up!