Mitigations is an installation consisting of a public sculpture and a performance, made during a six weeks residency, hosted by Het Resort, at a former gas station – one of the last Dudok structures – in Groningen.
Mitigations displayed the aftermath of a crash at a former gas station in Groningen for a period of three months. The installation changed and evolved through the interaction of passersby, who took away parts as mementos or utilised the vehicle for photos and naps. Remnants of barrier tape showed the first steps by local authorities to process the scene, later learning from the department of culture that it was a public sculpture.
The installation is a result of a performance work in which Alban Karsten tests his own proposition for a ‘Hostile Vehicle Mitigation’ – large concrete objects in public space, often furnished with seating possibilities and perennial plants. Placed around publicly accessible areas or buildings, these architectural objects serve to prevent or reduce the chance of a terrorist vehicle attack.
For this performance Karsten learned how to drive, in order to subsequently test his mitigation object with his car. The piece allowed the audience to witness a crash or attack, but stripped from agenda – to experience the aesthetics of tragedy in an analytical and impartial way.
Unlike a typical scene of a car crash – normally immediately barricaded and towed – the work stayed as a pending figure of catastrophe to be revisited on a daily basis.