The series this must be the place is a personal research about place, space and home, describing an exploration, perception and interpretation of landscape, led by intuition and emotional state. Since I‘ve never lived and worked in one place for more than some months over the last years, I have been asking myself questions about home, origin and identity: how does a place/scene come into existence? By loading it with sentiments, needs, habits? Does the concept of home still have relevance in the light of countries growing together, borders disappearing, and the speed and frequency in which we travel from one place to another?
What does it mean to decide not to have a constant home, given all choices and liberties and at the same time to drop the idea of conventional structures, to take the risk of not knowing what will be next?
There is a German term that defies translation and the meaning of this term is the core of BärbelPraun’s work. I’m speaking about the word Heimat. Best translated with the English word home it is in itself overlaid with a multitude of meanings. Unlike the English home, Heimat does not etymologically refer to the buildings we live in. Heimat marks more a feeling than a place, although we long to connect this feeling to a place most of the time. We say “This is the house where I grew up. This is Heimat to me.” But we also say “The smell of my grandfather’s aftershave means Heimat to me.“ Some people never had a Heimat because they never felt safe in the world. Some people deny the importance of Heimat, as they believe that when we stick to that feeling too much, we loose flexibility both in mind and life. Some people are constantly searching for a place they can call Heimat.
(Jana Duda, from the self-published book ‚this must be the place‘ (2015, Ed. 50+5), Texts by Paola Paleari and Jana Duda)