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I am a mole in the city

by isalange

created by. il
location. barcelona spain wien austria dresden germany
keywords. performance installation action intervention in urban public area city material serie animal art artist contemporary

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SIZE: up to 4 meters high, radius up to 3 meters, material of the city, e.g. bulky waste, garbage, scrap metal

A blond woman wearing a construction worker vest. A punctual, fulgurous appearance marks her actions and interventions in public urban space. Speed, vigilance. She appears and disappears. Vanishing. Submerging.
She moves in the road system of cities leaving traces: hills of the same basic structure, differing in size and material, responding to the realities of urban space. Her activities include the material of the city: bulky waste, garbage, packaging materials, wood, stones, scrap metal. Depending on space and time she piles up the urban material to clusters. The hills are up to four meters high and six meters wide. It doesn?t take more than a few minutes to create them, only sometimes a few hours. Forming these hills depends on the nature of the material ? its structure, form, colour, consistency.
She takes a photo, disappears and further moves on through the city. The actions are not bound by day and night. Roaming through cities she is always ready to hunt and to build. She is using the material the urban dwellers leave behind and thereby provide the bases for her activities.
Her hunting ground is the city. She is a mole in the city.

The mole spends most of his life in a self-dug underground tunnel system. The excavated material is pushed to the earth?s surface, generating the characteristic molehills. A nest chamber below the surface serves as a resting and sleeping place. Moles have no day-night rhythm; their activity is divided into waking and sleeping stages.
Alfred Brehm (Brehm 1876: Der Maulwurf. In: Brehm?s Thierleben) describes the mole and his way of life: "From his residence he reveals himself soon, since he continually raises new hills to be able to live. These hills always denote the direction and extent of his hunting ground. With its extraordinary voracity, he must widen his hunting ground and work constantly. He keeps on burrowing [...] and throwing up the famous hills. ?Of all the native subterranean animals [...] the common mole prepares its elaborate homes and passages most strenuously. [...] His home is usually located at a place which is not easily accessible from the outside [...] and far away from the daily hunting areas. [...] Under any circumstances the flat offers to him security besides sleep and rest, and is, therefore, his usual residence, if he does not go out for food.'[...] In light soil, he digs at an amazing speed. [...]
What has been conveyed to now is that the mole is a truly terrible beast of prey in proportion to his size. This corresponds to his mental capacities. He is wild, extremely furious, bloodthirsty, cruel and vindictive, and actually doesn?t live in peace with a single creature, except with his females during the mating season. [...] During the rest of the season, he doesn?t tolerate any other living being around him, least of all a roommate in his burrows. [...] It is only too understandable that every mole lives alone his burrow and is busy on eating, burrowing, sleeping and resting." The mole is ?working like a horse for three hours? at extraordinary speed and then sleeping for three hours. He is ?in motion perpetually in summer and winter". Alfred Brehm writes about the young animals: "Their first attempts at digging are rather imperfect: they rarely try to throw up molehills. But the art of digging comes over the years, and next spring the young moles are already fully trained in their skills."

Photos: Isa Lange

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photos: isa lange