Layers of Time 02

museum in progress asks: Olaf Osten

For museum in progress’ exhibition series "Layers of Time" in DATUM you chose the date 9 March 2013 as basis for your artwork. What significance does this date have for you, what do you associate with it?

It simply indicates the day on which the work was created and therefore refers to the present and the significance that I attach to it.

Have you worked on this subject before in other pieces of art?

Yes, quite recently I have exhibited another work in the Vienna Künstlerhaus which deals with the present: a clock without hands in the exhibition "Zeit(lose) Zeichen" [Time(less) Signs]. It refers directly to timelessness – drawn in connection with a black hole – whereas in our case the river symbolises the continuous and irreversible stream of time. Only in combination with the upside down diary page the measurement of time seems to be strange. 

Which aspects of your artistic work are especially important to you?

The ability to surprise myself and others with what I do time and again.

If you could determine one of your works of art to outlast the course of time and to be still admired in the far future, which would you choose?

Always the current work.

Are significant personal experiences important for your art? If yes: Could you give an example?

Whatever is touching me becomes visible in my work.

What is the appeal in creating a work of art for public spaces or the media?

The hope to reach a public far from institutional exhibitions.

To what extent should art fulfil any socio-political tasks?

I think art should invite you to reflect if there were not many more choices available to you than you are aware of at the moment. And maybe it should inspire you to do something great, something of which you have dreamt for a long time – whatever it is.

How would you characterise good art?

It is for example beautiful, maybe sad and funny at the same time, never explicit, it is intelligent and touches you deeply.

What are the limits of art?

Its purpose.

All participating artists
of "Layers of Time" are asked to answer the same questions. In this way the serial character of the project is emphasised as well as the artists’ individual points of view, and the interested readers get additional information about the works and their creators.