100 Times Doing Nothing

2021W

Stillness, emptiness, silence.
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Without the space in between things, the things itself wouldn’t be perceivable. The gaze in the nothing allows us to look at ourselves.
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With this project Denise decided to help herself by the practice of doing nothing and observing the present moment.
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“I am a person who needs a lot of recognition from outside. I am also a perfectionist and a control freak. But instead of blaming myself for this, I have tried to use these insights to create a routine for doing nothing. Doing nothing in this sense means not fighting against or for anything, but simply accepting the given situation and the feelings I have as they arise.
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I have decided to do a 100 days performance. It will end on 10 March 2022. Every day I take a picture of myself during my practice. In order to do nothing for at least a few minutes each day without cheating, I take these pictures with the simplest, most rudimentary camera there is: a camera obscura. The weather and light conditions on the day and location determine how long I have to stand in front of the camera.
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In order to relinquish as much control as possible, I have asked people to give me the coordinates of a location in Vienna that they are free to choose. Every morning I blindly choose one to get the location for my practice. I develop the pictures in my self-made darkroom in the bathroom. I fix the images just a little bit so that they continue to develop and get darker over time until they disappear altogether, because this project is not about the result but about the process, and furthermore I confront myself with my own passing. When I look at these images, I see blurred memories of a person who looks like me, who looks more or less the same every day, but who is able to change and is never the same, and yet it is me or depictions of me, and as these images will disappear, so will I.”

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