SONNTAG, 19. February 2006, 23:05. - 23:45, Ö1



To Odessa on the back of a tortoise

by Johann Franz Groisz with Alexander De Goederen andUrsula Henzl
Speaker: Sigrid Spörk
Sound engineer: Anton Reininger
on 1 and via satellite in 5.1 Dolby Surround on OE1DD




The background of the journey: The route and the goal!
Summer 2005. Six months after Ukraine's "Orange Revolution". The new Ukrainian government has resolved on a temporary visa exemption for citizens from EU countries. This provision was valid from May 1st through to September 1st, 2005. Above all, the Ukrainian state intended to lighten the entry into the country for the Eurovision Song Contest on May 21st in the capital city, Kiev.

Three individuals set off from Vienna heading for Odessa. There is no reason for this journey. The notion ‚holiday' isn't appropriate for this venture, as it is more likely a getaway. Or simply leaving. But as they aren't searching for anything, nothing is discovered. The travellers take offence at minor details, lose their way on the map, and aren't capable of attuning to the countries they're crossing through. But there is a plan: to sell a car in Ukraine - a Citroen equipped with a hydraulic system, virtually a tortoise. However, this plan is soon abolished. The three protagonists rather give in to a disorientation which seems to be a common disposition in the "New Europe". While drifting, they frequently cross the borders to Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Moldova's renagade Republic of Transnistria, and Hungary and dozens of times have to pay bribe money to the police, frontier police or the military. The three travellers aren't aware of their inability to face life in general, but their incapacity increasingly surfaces during the journey, finally leading to an absurd and hasty 24 hour homeward retreat made suffering from the impeding noise of the car - which no longer has an exhaust pipe.

Amongst others, the brewery and a glass factory in Schwechat, the Hotel Slovakia in Szilnia, a castle and a lake in the Upper Tatra, walks in Lemberg, the Jewish cemetery in Brody, Czernowitz and, finally, the Potemkin Stepps in Odessa are Stopps on the fortnight long drive. The three voyagers spent a lot of time in the car, often listening to various radio stations on a world receiver.

The version for Kunstradio presents solely the recorded soundscapes of this strange journey - the world receiver in the car, recordings from the streets and squares, from car drives, walks, interviews etc. The protagonists' voices help the listeners follow the journey in this radio piece. A speaker introduces different situations.

Also tonight the Kunstradio version of "Auf dem Rücken einer Schildkröte nach Odessa" as well as further sound recordings and music which the voyagers listened to and acquired on their trip are presented at the rhiz in Vienna.