A selection of emotional facebook statuses about serious matters is recited by other persons than the authors and recorded with mobile telephone or computer microphone, in a quality matching the medium. The video material is composed of allegedly sensational (instead of informative) recordings that correspond only in part to the topics on the sound track. Their selection is intentionallly determined by obscurity and unassignability.
The title of this exhibition quotes the film Copie Conforme by Abbas Kiarostami, in which an art expert is the leading female role. Copying, imitation and referencing are not just the basis of artistic production but also of all cultural systems. Against the background of timeless and current discourses on copyright and the freedom of art, this exhibition project seeks to offer an insight into contemporary artistic positions that link methods of creative appropriation or referentiality with sociopolitical statements or explicitly to use them as instruments.
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.
Stage design, Akademietheater (Vienna) and Theatre de l’Odéon (Paris)
The Play by Peter Handke, set in a midsummer garden, was transposed into a backstage setting where two actors meet amidst decoration remains after their performance of „Don Carlos“ and speak about love and their past lives, before the curtain opens to infinity.
Jebo Te! was first launched in 2003 as part of The Handke Collection as statement about impossibilities of translation and blurriness of semantics. The first 100 items were initially exhibited in the framework of Operation Figurini (Steinbrener / Dempf).
Jebo Te! consists of individually chosen pieces from the wardrobe of the artist, each connected to a special memory. Relabeling every item manually even makes fast fashion unique, an original copy, recalls practices of authorship, signature, fake and appropriation as well as the hidden work in global sweat shops and homes.
In an ever changing world of fluid and transitory signs like the codes of fashion, how can we interpret what is written on us or influence the way it is (or we are) read? How many memories do we get rid of by disposing of our clothes?
Jebo Te! is an emphasizing exclamation in Ex-Yugoslavian languages. It could be literally translated as „Fuck You“. But doesn’t every translation lead to misunderstandings and conflicts, whether literal or not? Or to say it with Saint-Exupéry: language is the source of misunderstanding.
A reconstruction starting from an audio tape from childhood on which two friends – Amina Handke and Lojang Soenario – interview each other and a photograph showing the two: Isn’t memory always a construction of the past, shaped by its remains (or those that are missing) and in the present?