residency: MarchApril 2006

Julien Diehn, Nick Oberthaler (Austria)

Julien Diehn, Nick Oberthaler 

during their stay at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art artists were working on a project called Warsaw,Texas.


  • "How else would you get to know a city and their social structure if not in driving down every single road, street and alley?


  • As both artists had never been to Warsaw, neither in Poland, they intended to explore the entity of Warsaw's urban society and environment. The studio at the castle functioned as a base for a work-in-progress installation that gathered all material collected, found, and recorded througout the "road-trip". The idea was to develop a system of how to explore the whole area of Warsaw city. More precisely said, artists aquired a Polish car to drive through every single (!) street in Warsaw. These urban trips were recorded on video and later on edited at the studio. The goal and plot of the film was to find and cast musicians for a band that would perform the soundtrack of the evolving road-movie. A detailed record (book, drawings, objects etc.) accompanied the whole residency and contained all information of every single route, persons/ acquaintances, and the occured incidents.

    • Diehn and Oberthaler decided to work in the format of an (improvised) road movie, which usually deals with the terms of vastness (endless desert-like environments with no starting point and no end) and with the figures lost in this space, without past and no future either. Road-movies are generally about a quest for the secret essence, that typifies/embodies a society and keeps it together. They turned the typus of the road movie from a vast rural environment to the complete opposite: an urban structure (in this case: Warsaw), marked through history and always redefining itself through future innovation (whether economic or mental). Artists attempted to draw the image of a city and society they hadn't known before searching the esprit that keeps the people moving and moving. 

  • The title was inspired by the road movie Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders) and was yet just a quotation, a synonym for a point that is in fact not existing in real life, a non-place that evokes a longing for this esprit de vie, this "essence of a society".


  • Curator

    • Marianna Dobkowska

This residency and project were realised in cooperation with Austrian Cultural Forum in Warsaw, 3M, Forum Stadtpark, Graz, ZDM.