“Mobile Cinema” is a gesamtkunstwerk, a synthesis of video installations of public places in several cities (Berlin, Istanbul, Hamburg, Munich) and installations in art spaces.
A “Mobile Cinema,” installed onto the cover of the “Homesick Handbag,” is carried around by the artist through a city. This plays a video made in one city, e.g. Munich, while the artist is walking around with it in another city, e.g. Istanbul. Simultaneously the artist videos the visited city with its specific urban structures, and the reaction of the public to the mobile installation is documented as well. This material is used for new videos to be shown in the next cities, along with the videos of the previously visited cities. The result is the “Stadtkörperserie” (‘City Structure’ series). These European cities are thus linked together by the system of action and reaction and form a single, huge urban “all-over,” where impersonal, abstract city structures and private experiences melt into one another to form a visual unity. The pedestrian becomes a “star for a second” in his or her city, and the particular local color of this city is encountered directly and unfiltered by pedestrians in the next city. The preserved time of the video is interwoven with the present time of the city being visited. The narrated urban situation is inserted in the real urban situation. Material and immaterial time levels overlie each other.
The extended movement of walking is contrasted with the momentary stay in places with particular significance for the artist and others. From a bird’s eye view the walks sketch a net of lines and points and create a kind of walked drawing on the image of the city. The artistic work in exterior public places is translated into an interior archival installation. While this “Mobile Cinema” stands for the direct, unfiltered momentary event, the “Homesick Box” presents short, static pieces of a continually developing process. “Mobile Cinema” is the visualization of the feeling of urban space and mobility. Every city has its own feeling of mobility. A city’s marketing generally emphasizes a particular mobility. In Munich you walk or you go by bike. In Istanbul you go by car or bus and get stuck in traffic. Rome is famous for its Vespafeeling, New York for its subway, and Los Angeles is the city of cars. The clichés need to be confirmed and put into perspective by mobility maps. Though the artist often goes to places of technological transportation, she chooses to walk so that her body gets directly in contact with the stone structure of the city. The most archaic form of getting about for city people is walking. In the city, with its emphasis on the greatest possible speed in mobility, walking, the original form of human mobility, seems quite old-fashioned. But walking creates a personal range, a sounding out of public space. The “Homesick Handbag” is an instrument for examining this actual space, along with the various social structures – political, juristic, economic and such – that have created it and continue to influence it. Public space is not an “open” space that its residents can take over; it is on the contrary the most-defined and most-controlled space of their reality. Each public space is created out of its particular national, traditional, and sociological contexts. However, because these spaces exhibit similarities in their urban situations and requirements, comparisons between the various cities are possible. The “Mobile Cinema” with its “Homesick Handbag” and the “Homesick Box” creates a transcultural urban network by the lack of the familiar, by the nostalgia for a concrete, personal, intimate, and uniquely defined place. The place of longing varies according to the individual. Any one place will be differently perceived and remembered depending on personal background and the comparison one will make with the places already existing in one’s mind. Everybody creates his or her own biographical city map, just as everybody carries her (or his) own handbag. The handbag, formerly a means of carrying things so as to have the hands free, has long become a status symbol in the city. The handbag, a purely optical, wordless communication medium, turns its owner into its mute bearer, all the while conveying the bearer’s self-image.