Claudia Barth

Every smell a thousand memories
solo exhibition
8 to 15 Dec 2019 at Raum*station, Zurich
Claudia Barth (concept, camera, editing, text)
Isabelle Barth (voice, text)
Flavio Schönholzer (music)
Nora Ringgenberg (audio-post-production)
Related works
eu - você (Mannheim) (2019)
eu - você (São Paulo) (2019)
Eu não falo português (2020)


The video MY GRANDMOTHER SPOKE: consists of the last conversation Claudia & Isabelle Barth had with their grandmother about her time in Brazil. We hear how Marlise, spoken by Isabelle Barth, emigrates as a 21-year-old woman to São Paulo in 1942 with the German-Brazilian man Totila Jordan, leaving her childhood sweetheart behind in Zurich. The video shows Marlise’s stately parental home in Zollikon near Zurich and selected photographs from her photo album. The narrative ends with the ship docking in the port of Santos, Brazil: “And then the misery began”.MY GRANDMOTHER SPOKE: depicts an autonomous piece of art and at the same time it is a kind of prologue of the video installation WHERE SHE SPEAKS I SMELL.


In the video installation WHERE SHE SPEAKS I SMELL, the story of the artists’ grandmother is told from the perspective of the dog Mister_Sister D, a faithful companion and witness. In the grandmother’s narration, dog stories always marked and covered traumatic experiences. For the artists, Mister_Sister D was a constant companion on their search for traces from São Paulo to Petropolis to Maceió. Over three screens, Mister_Sister D leads us through memories and speculations about what happened to the grandmother after her arrival in Brazil; from a marriage into an important family, the birth of a son, a hibiscus farm and a forced incarceration in a psychiatric ward. 

WHERE SHE SPEAKS I SMELL was showed together with MY GRANDMOTHER SPOKE: in the solo exhibition EVERY SMELL ATHOUSEND MEMORIES at Raum*station in Zurich. It is also part of the Performance EU-VOCÊ, as such it was showed at the EinTanzhaus in Mannheim and at the Soy loco por ti Juquery Festival in São Paulo.