She was here – traces of existence

public art, Weimar, Germany

As I see it, people produce traces everyday, even if they try not to do so. I think traces we find coincidently are more beautiful than those made on purpose. I collected used teabags in Weimar. Tea colour is left on the tea bags after drinking: black tea makes a brown colour and fruit tea makes a pink colour. It is an innocent way that one person spent her or his time.

More than eighty apartments, ten families and a kindergarden collected used tea bags for a period of one year. I visited them each week. They opened their door and I entered their house. Sometimes they made me a cup of tea, another time an elderly lady showed me her private photo albums. I recognized how often and what kind of tea people drink and how carefully they took care when collecting the tea bags. I got to know individual characters and their individual life situations. The relationships became more private.

After increasing the number of collecting points, more than 8.000 time-traces had been collected in the end. The teabags papers were transformed into a room of traces. The installation was meant to show the end of the collecting process for only one time, and was not to be repeated.