↑ Click on the picture for a larger view

The better life


For his project, Goran Gnaudschun spent time in Murcia, a town in southern Spain, nestled in the valley of the Rio Segura. On this fertile plain, harvest workers, refugees, society dropouts and retirees share a common search for a better life. Murcia has become a microcosm condensing a variety of human contradictions and inequalities.

The disparate individual fates are what make this project so fascinating. Gnaudschun’s heroes are the people who have found the niche they were looking for. Illegal day labourers feeding their families in faraway Africa, a retired couple that runs a care service for elderly neighbours, guest workers who have returned after a long working life to a homeland they no longer know. But we also meet here idealists and visionaries, people who have found in Murcia the room they need to pursue their dreams.

These life stories stand in sharp contrast to a landscape shaped by industrial agriculture, designed for the highly efficient production of veg­etables and fruit for the entire European market. Artificial scenery made up of plastic tunnels and irrigation systems stretches all the way to the horizon.

In this work, commissioned by the Museum Europäischer Kulturen in Berlin, Gnaudschun weaves many such stories into a panopticon, never taking an accusatory or moralising tone. His gaze does justice to each intimate and individual human destiny.

Andy Heller and Oliver Kern