Parfyme // “Help Fix History” // July-September 2010
Advertising their slogan “Help Fix History” the artist collective Parfyme (Douglas Paulson, New York, und Pelle Brage, Copenhagen) placed a furnished truck at different public squares in Cologne as their “mobile studio”.
They were looking to complete the history of Cologne with whatever has been forgotten or missed in the official version, to add the desired and delete the wrong information by inviting everyone to stop by and tell their story.
In a second step of the project, Perfume visualized these field-recordings as a historical collage. With this an oral history of the city of Cologne was created, reaching from the early years of the Roman times up to the present. Besides many comical elements, this oral history also became an outsider story of Cologne. Many of the people who contributed with their personal statements are rarely heard and their living environment often doesn’t find an adequate place in the official reports. As a side effect, histography is exposed as fiction per se.
The collage deriving from the interviews was presented as a timeline during the final presentation at Alte Feuerwache. A selection of elements have been processed as an artist book. The timeline was also recorded on film, which is part of the book.