APPROPRIATED BEGGARS (2013)

Seven channel video installation (HD, colour, sound)

Nine per­sons – partly per­formers, partly beg­gars in real life – por­tray beg­gars, them­selves or them­selves as beg­gars. The defin­i­tions of pro­fes­sion­al por­tray­al and authen­t­ic situ­ations blur facing the impossib­il­ity of recog­niz­ing “real” adversity by obser­va­tion. How must beg­gars – com­par­able to the demands of oth­er work­ing envir­on­ments, not just in per­form­ing arts – por­tray poverty in order to ful­fill the expect­a­tions attached to their role? Is the authen­ti­city of the por­tray­al more rel­ev­ant than the authen­ti­city of the adversity?

Restrict­ive deal­ing with beg­gars and poverty determ­ines pub­lic dis­cus­sions in the media and polit­ics. Here a ten­or toward symp­tom elim­in­a­tion and con­spir­acy the­or­ies (“Beg­gar mafia”) appears to mark a cli­max in the help­less­ness regard­ing con­sequences of world­wide injustice.

Emo­tions evoked by the adversity or help­less­ness of the “oth­er” can be observed and reflec­ted in a “pro­tec­ted space” – that is, time- and space­wise shif­ted – as we do not have to react imme­di­ately to encoun­ters with present per­sons.

This work, based on Kutlug Ataman’s video install­a­tion Beg­gars, is an homage to the artist and can also be regarded as an ambigu­ous com­ment­ary on the con­tro­ver­sial and com­plex dis­cus­sions about copy­right law and art. Incon­sist­en­cies between rules pro­tect­ing intel­lec­tu­al prop­erty and the ref­er­en­ti­al­ity based art pro­duc­tion sys­tem are made clear by delib­er­ately refer­ring to the idea as jur­ist­ic­ally not pro­tect­able basis of artist­ic work.

In this work, ref­er­en­ti­al­ity as a basis of cul­tur­al devel­op­ments is being con­cat­en­ated with pat­terns of social phe­nom­ena and struc­tur­al con­di­tions of artist­ic pro­duc­tion.