Holy Petroleum

Agnes Tatzber


What is grass to you? You sit on it. Where once there was grass There you sit now, oil tank, And in front of you is a feeling Nothing. …“ Bertolt Brecht, 1929, Seven hundred intellectuals worship an oil tank

By investigating and processing archival material from the village of Neusiedl an der Zaya, a former oil production site in lower Austria, a language was developed with which to critique the compelling paradigm of “petroculture.“ As an act of counter-mapping, the elevation lines of the site merge with line drawings of spaces that have been structured by petroleum, petroleum products and petroleum byproducts that are omnipresent in our society. Containing a variety of stories, the Baroque aesthetics; celebrating the wealth of a global economy as an act in its own right; are made visible by covering the white on white screen printed paper with pitch black fully saturated oil.

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