A street turned into an exhibition: twenty four people who live and work in the Rathausgasse tell the story of their lives – and the history of the former Metzgergasse, that was renamed 42 years ago to rid it of its reputation as a red light district.
Each visitor received an iPod with all the stories collected on it and can make their own way through the street. “Metzgergasse” suggests no specific tour, it simply offers a range of possibilities: it’s possible to start listening directly in front of the window of the horse butcher’s or to go up the street in the direction of the Tübeli Bar and then perhaps stop and browse at Wild’s second-hand bookshop.
Altogether there are seven hours of stories to choose from. What connects them is a shared presence of listeners and stories in 2011: these are life stories which have taken the most varied routes to get to where the visitors are now standing.
The audio viewing “Metzgergasse 2011” was Mats Staub’s first work for a public space – and he created a sequel two years later: “Metzgergasse 2011/13” presented the stories from 2011 on one hand and on the other made clear how much the street had changed. The ‘Peep Store’ had closed down, ‘Coiffure Walter’ had had to make way for renovation, the old Post Office was now a dry cleaner’s – this audio viewing made it possible to hear how some stories vanish and new ones begin.
“Mats Staub has caught the variety of the former Metzgergasse in colourful portraits. It is like hearing whispers against the background noise of planes coming in to land. These are voices of times past that will – if you listen closely – reveal their secrets about everyday life, about joy and sorrow, and turn the street into a living stage.”
DRS 2, 10.06.2011
Initiative, Concept, Direction: Mats Staub
Colaboration: Evelyne Zinsstag, Nadine Tobler
Programming iPods: Erik Thurnherr, Texetera
Co-producer: Schlachthaus Theater Bern
With support from: KulturStadtBern, Kanton Bern, Migros-Kulturprozent