The Academy Album is an artistic video portrait of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna highlighting its history and present in fifty-two short episodes. The episodes explore concepts of art, science, and teaching, interpreting them in different ways by pursuing an experimental, informative, absurd and/or documentary line.
In Fermata might be pidgin Italian for “at the stop” or “closed in”. The camera is locked inside a room (“camera”) looking out. There are bars. The inside is invisible, it is excluded, but still enclosed — as opposed to a part of the seemingly wide and free outside. A motif of many films, since the beginning: Are passers-by looking at the camera, the room or the person behind it? Is the camera looking back or is it us? Are the people playing or being authentic – and is there a difference and where? Is a view from a room still the predecessor and inspiration of theatre and cinema, even before there was mobility, car and train rides?
The talk show Wishing Cast, produced in the framework of Pixels, Bytes and Film*, invites professional performers of different origins and disciplines (a dancer, an actress, a comedian, an entertainer, a cabaret artist and a burlesque performer) to a conversation about their dream role. The guests tell tales of super heroes, revenge fantasies, escape adventures, war histories and boat taxis. Of sex, violence, humour, self-determination, authenticity, manipulation and a happy life. Wishing Cast develops into a polyphonic tale about role perceptions and life goals. The borders between reality, desire and fiction blur, perhaps they never even existed. Just as the format Wishing Cast itself.
*cooperation of the TV Station ORFIII, the Austrian Federal Chancellery and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
I asked my mother – an actress – to reenact her mother who I barely knew. But she remembers very little.
Mother of Mother recounts of scrappy memories and brittle family relationships of three generations, marked by absences and separations. Also by the effects of a war or – more generally – the influence of ideologies and conventions on conceptions of women’s and mothers’ roles, and how these are being passed on and reflected. Daily life thus coined is so unspectactular that it is perceived as normality.
Quotenpublikum is a series of 13 Portraits: 16 renowned Austrian experts with different professional relations to media culture are portrayed watching TV. They represent a subjectively selected, diverse cross section of a professional audience and seemingly impersonate the abstract notion of the “Quote” (German term for audience rating), whose representativity and elicitation methods are addressed and questioned.
The production of Quotenpublikum was funded and first broadcast by Austrian public television ORFIII in 2014.
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.
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.
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?