Michaela Spiegel’s Instant Memoir 1994-2017 published by Kehrer pictures turbulent time travel in Polaroid pictures, spanning more than two decades full of love, food, and art.
It’s all a question of digestion. This Instant Memoir is an ambient travelling guide through my head and across twenty-three years of my life. It entails a discrete selection of culinary and amorous souvenirs from among approximately sixteen thousand convivial moments of the chronological order of my instant photo- diary. From bed to worse, three love parallels about language and domination round up the menu of eating and other disorders, with an exclusive selection of head shots, illustrating the elasticity of time, gender, and love. (Michaela Spiegel)
From the Preface by Rubén Gallo:
In the age of Instagram and social media, Michaela Spiegel has chosen a medium that harks back to a pre-digital age. For over thirty years, she has documented aspects of her affective life using a Polaroid camera. These snapshots convey the texture of a different era: if Super-8 home movies evoke the 1970s, these evoke the ambience of life in the 1980s.
Already in the 1990s, when the earliest of these were taken, Po- laroids were a slightly nostalgic medium, a dated technology that pointed to the past.
Instant Memoir captures a life devoted to having fun and engaging with others in play, with an openness to the Other that makes this project intersubjective, interpersonal, intersexual and intererotic (as well as interculinary and international; interspecies and interconnected).
As one of the Hollywood stars portrayed in the middle section might have said: What a life!
From the text Puppele I. A Laugh Story by Michaela Spiegel:
I don’t remember if G brought you to my house or if you just knocked to introduce yourself as the new neighbor. Blonde and blue-eyed. Another Austrian. All Austrians in this medieval Parisian building were blonde and blue-eyed, and three out of twelve neighbors was an extraordinarily high percentage of Alpine blood in the heart of Paris.
Our intellectually incestuous romance carried us away with out- bursts of hysterical laughter until tears ran down our cheeks. We truly fell in laugh. You would be at my service whenever Puppele got tired of his function as nanny or seamstress and when a human with a penis seemed more appropriate company for a public occasion. My Polaroid camera loved you and the caricatures of yourself, Hugo, Puppi, Boy Wonder, Pursche, Ludwig. You loved to pose and to be held back from getting lost in all those instants of your identity. At twenty-plus, every pose is a joke…
Michaela Spiegel (b. 1963 in Vienna) is an interdisciplinary artist and feminist activist, known for her large-scale pastel drawings and her video interview series about feminism. She is the founder and director of the feminist laboratory Centre Pom- padour in Northern France.
Rubén Gallo is the Walter S. Carpenter Jr. Professor in Language, Literature and Civilization of Spain at Princeton University, and a member of the board of the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, where he also serves as research director.
Michaela Spiegel : Instant Memoir 1994-2017
Text and photographs by Michaela Spiegel Preface by Rubén Gallo Designed by Kehrer Design (Laura Pecoroni) Hardcover, 11,5 x 16 cm
384 pages 275 color illustrations