Wie geht es dir?

Aufzeichnungen aus dem Kellerloch

How are you?

Notes from Underground

Wie geht es dir? Aufzeichnungen aus dem Kellerloch, 2022

4K-video (color, sound), 15:20 min.

Photos or a video, you have to look at them first! No need for an initial comment! Especially if they are presented as the search for a buried and almost forgotten past. Traces, clues, signs that an artistic approach allows to unveil.

What remains of this past? Stairs that go down into the underground; windowless walls; bright and not so bright colors; metal bedsprings; corridors; some graffiti caught by the camera; a human being, maybe me, who appears and disappears in the middle of all this!

The facts are simple and easy to list and verify:

- An underground atomic shelter in the middle of Switzerland,
- Asylum seekers, exclusively men, are accommodated there for several months in 2012,
- A Charity Organization takes is in charge of the internal organisation,
- The motion of a communal political party is concerned about the disorder and insecurity.

We are in 2022! What has remained of these months underground? An experience of lost time? A feeling of indeterminate discomfort? Sometimes a vague shortness of breath? Maybe a few isolated nightmares? A broken pleasure to breathe in the open air here and now?

„wie geht es dir?” („How are you?”) is written in big black letters on a yellow wall of the underground! The answer is also there; „mir geht es gut” („I am fine”)! A lesson in German grammar? „mir“, „dir“, dative case! An invitation to integrate into the local culture?

„How are you?“ I was doing so well that years later I can hardly decipher and picture that life down there! What about the other people?

The Underground has been closed! Maybe some are thinking of reopening it: new refugees are on the way! The „wie geht es dir?“ on the yellow wall of the bunker in the middle of Switzerland seems almost waiting for them! Perhaps some walls could be freshened up with a coat of blue paint?

No need for a final comment either! No answers either, just questions that you can leave there or take with you.

I am fine!

Serhat Ertuna