installation, mixed media, 2009, ethnological research: Agnes Fuchsloch / Sebastian Stein
The work was created in the context of the exhibition Crossing Munich: places, images and discussions about migration. Based on the socio-scientific research by the involved ethnologists about „ghetto discource“ and gangsterrap, I developed an installation including video-, audio- and textelements. Main part of the work is the video „Battle Rap“, in which I pit the ethnologists against the rappers in a linguistic rap battle. The research, written in a very scientific language, was shaped to a rhyme and chanted under efforts by the ethnologists. The rappers answered in their own language to the topics of the research.
video, 8.40 min, 2009
In an untidy room there is a group of young women. They hang out, they banter or are kept with themselves. The camera is scanning the room and the persons observantly, similar to an animal documentary. Off-voices are commenting and comparing the social behaviour of the own group and the others. Who „we“ and who „they“ are is determined by the associations of the beholders.
2-channel video-installation 2009
Collection of radical thoughts from customers in a Viennese shopping mall. I asked people in a Viennese mall to focus for a moment and imagine ideas they consider a radical agenda of either private or political matter. The ideas were anonymously written down and set together to a manifest.
2-channel video, 12 min Rovereto/Wien, 2008
Working with the site specific background of North Italy, I developed a 2-channel video about regional political claims and the question of local identity. The stage for the scenes was a reproduction of a wall painting from the train station in Rovereto, showing a typical mountain landscape, which I transfered to a train station in Vienna. The performers where passers-by who were asked to defend the image and in a second step to talk about personal matters concerning their living conditions. Back in Rovereto I showed the video to passers-by and asked them to improvise personal political demands for North Italy according to the facial expressions of the performers
video, 9.41 min. 2003/2008
400 Euro were hidden in an installation which looked like an ordinary living room. The visitors were invited to look for the money irrespective of sustainment of the installation. If money was found it could be kept. The visitors formed the aesthetic process of the installation and became an active part of it. Emotionally, a precarious situation took place. After the three hours of the opening, the total installation was destroyed and most of the money was found. Because of the location of the gallery, at a crowded underground station, the normal gallery guests mixed up with different other millieus. The beginnig attention canged into a joyfull process of destruction. In 2008 I developed a video from the documetry material, wich is disconnected from the linear relationship. It´s focus is on the atmosphric layers in the process of searching and destroying.
The title quotes a report from the Austrian ministry for national defense about integration in the Austrian army. Adaption or rather subordination are operative principles in the army. The function of military defilade is to adapt to the natural surroundings and to become invisible. A corresponding civil demand is that the minorities have to adapt to the majority. In a two-channel video I oppose military strategies of the army to the model of social integration.
video, 12 min. 2007
The video Homefront, realised during a residence, reacts to the loss of political activism discussed in the Dutch media. I asked some inhabitants of Dordrecht to make banners with political claims concerning the public space that sourounds them. The video is showing these people demonstrating the banners from their livingroom windows. In a second step i informed passers-by about the claims and asked them for some hints or possible solutions. These comments are heard as a voiceover.
video and installation, 2007
A camera was installed in an exhibition space. I asked passers-by to be my hostage. They were brought into the room. On a neutral stage we pushed the claims in form of a video message. The content of the demand was given by the hostages.
video, 6 min. Venice Beach, 2006
I asked passers-by in Venice Beach to push me down on a car, and in return I did the same to them. It´s a classical image of an arrestment and an act of power and control. In the change of roles each one can experience the position of power and repression.
participating intervention, magazine, Vienna 2006
My special interest was the historic function of the „Gemeindebau“, a form of social building in Vienna, as a center of resistance against the fascists in 1934 and it’s reference to modern forms of cohabitation. As a connection from the past to the present I produced a music video about the song „Workers from Vienna“. The video deals with the topic of resistance and working class in an actualized form. It was shown to the people at street parties in different „Gemeindebauten“, where I used the oppertunity for discussions between me and the inhabitants. The whole process is documented in a booklet.
installation, mixed media, 2005-2006
What is the value of a body in Mexico City, a city with 20. mio. inhabitants? What is the value of my body in this city? For an exhibition in Mexico City I picked up topics of two Mexico based artists, and reworked them in my own context. Francis Alys took pictures of bargainers on their daily way to work, pushing and pulling their goods. Their input of body work is in a direct relation to the economic value of their goods. I bought one of these barrows from a bargainer and brought it to Germany. What ist the quality of such an object, replaced to another application of value? Santiango Sierra paid prostitutes to tattoo a line on their backs for the amount of a dosis of heroin. This line I continued on my back. I paid 400 pesos. If I would trace these women and stand in a line with them, we would produce one line, one picture. Do our bodies have the same rate?
interaction, video-installation, Vienna central station, 2006
I had the possibility to attend the security team at the central station on their daily route. They showed me their strategic points in the building. We talked about special postures and gestures of a security guard and the importance of uniforms. Afterwards I went to the station with my selfmade uniforms and established my own security team with loitering persons. In consideration of the strategies of real securities we defined our appearance.
Performance and video, Dublin Airport, 2006
I patroled the Dublin Airport. Some people where waiting for their flights and maybe they could see an unexpected movement in the corner of their eye, while I practised action stunts for the big mission. In my performance I played the role of a narrative figure, a lonely heroic security guard who is taking his job very serious, maybe a bit too much. Never knowing where the danger is coming from, the Guard is trying to fight against the invisible danger in the style of an action hero, but there is always also the gesture of failure, boredom and insecurity indicated.
video, 14 min, 2005
Utopia of social conventions: The identity check and the manual scanning at airports are formal and bureocratic acts to protect our public security. Some people are authorized to do that. They enter the privat sphere of strangers and there is no possibility to escape. When I apply this operation on a stranger and vice versa, something different is created. The superior authority of administration is gone. The formal contacts become a sensual experience and a private encounter.
3-channel HD video, 20 min loop, 2010
I hired by-passers for a symbolic remuneration to take part in the video. Their task was to stand in front of the camera with a raised fist, a historical gesture of the working movement. The length of the shot would depended on how long the protagonists would strike this pose and was decided only by themselves. This newly won self-determination of „time“ lead the participant to a responsibility and to the moral dilemma of having to decide how much time is appropriate to fulfill the demands, and is oriented on the more and more important models of deregulated work schedules.
2-channel HD-video, 13:06 min. loop, grandstand object, small LCD monitor, 6 black and white copies
Since the mid-90s "Radical Cheerleading" established itself as an innovative form of street protest. Political activists and feminists adopted rhythm and choreography from cheerleading to stage their political protest in a spectacular way. For the work "In training" I introduced a Viennese cheerleading team to the idea of "Radical Cheerleading" and motivated them to use their skills to communicate their own political content.
HD-video, 15.05 min, 2010
What was your most important question at the age of sixtheen? That´s what I asked grown up passers by and invited them to write their question on a cardboard. The people posde with their carboard some minutes in front of the camera. In an seperated audio line you can hear todays teenager trying to give advise and answer these questions.
Full HD Video, 15 min, 2011
What do we see in the images that show us the world every day? This is the opening question of Witt’s video installation in which a group of children can be seen confronting media images of current political events. Detached from the actual content, the images allow space for perceptions and interpretations from a child’s perspective and thereby introduce new ways of reading. In slow pan shots some details of the pictures are scanned, and thereby refuse the full view to the beholder, too.
The project was created with Marco Ceroli.
Collective Performance, Charleroi, 2011
For an artist residence in Charleroi I realized a collective performance with the inhabitants of one of the biggest housing blocks in the city. At a fixed date they opened their windows and played on high volume a CD with their own heartbeats, witch I recorded with an ultrasound scanning beforehand. For 20 minutes the hum of all inhabitants heartbeats could be heard outside. The sucking and pulsating noise created an unfamiliar intimate insight to the human organism and gave the impression of a mysterious machinery.
Once a day the window of the Martinsturm in Bregenz was opened and one could hear the solo recording of a member of the political Samba-Percussion Group Rhythm- Attack-Bodensee. Every day of the week the same piece was heard, played by one of the seven basic instruments. The synchronicity of the group showed itself through the strictly kept ‘rests’ of the instruments. The refrain “This is what democracy looks like” normally sang together, was heard in the city daily.
Full-HD Video, 7 min, 2001
The starting point of the video “Strength” is a gesture used in comics or action films. The hero bends the barrel of the enemy’s gun with his bare hands. The moment of disarmament is the dramaturgical climax in the battle and at the same time it is a representation of absolute superiority. Witt went to a sports club with a real gun and asked one of the men there to bend the barrel. In contrast to the corresponding scenes in comic or action films the real physical effort is in the foreground.