ANGST. MACHT. RAUM. Part 1
With video works by Sadie Benning, Ming Wong and Rommelo Yu
Curated by Viktor Neumann
ANGST. MACHT. RAUM. (“FEAR. POWER. SPACE.“) investigates procedures and strategies in the generation of fear through the economy of power, fueled in territorial, cultural or media spaces as the stage of in- or exclusion.
The first part of this series of exhibitions presented in the Senatsreservespeicher focuses on the politics involved in the construction of identity and otherness under the use of the rhetoric of fear. The semantics of normality in the dominant political and economical discourses produces an outside, which needs to be kept stable. Strategies for control and discipline within the norm are applied, following neoliberal mottos with their dubious commingling of financial roles and human exploitation. Deviant behavior of any kind is then stigmatized as a threat to the individual´s identity and safety. For the few granted vanishing points out of the system of rules, the game with otherness can easily lead to actual exclusion. Based on negative constructions of identities, the mechanics of exclusion are produced, from precarisation and marginalisation to an exclusion out of almost all systems of communication. The response to the question of resistance is left unanswered.
ANGST. MACHT. RAUM. Part 1 presents videoworks, which decidedly reflect on the individual subject within this debate:
Sadie Benning´s first video works – as compiled on Video Works Volume 1 – were produced when the artist was 15 years old. Filmed with a Fisher-Price Pixelvision camera which recorded pixelated black and white images, each of the videos combine in a few minutes experimental narration, performance, found-footage and text. Reminiscent of a video journal and filmed in the intimacy of her teenage room, Benning presents herself in an isolated surrounding. Intuitively and without distancing, the artist shows the complexity of a developing self-awareness. The intimate disclosure, sometimes playful and humorous but mostly with poignant frankness, oscillates between aspiration, confusion and discomfort, and the videos report on the intricate development of a (sexual) identity.
Ming Wong´s Angst Essen/Eat Fear (2008) is the reenactment of Rainer Werner Fassbinder´s Angst Essen Seele Auf (1974), a bittersweet love story of the elderly cleaning lady Emmi and the young Morroccan guest worker Ali. Wong plays all roles himself, regardless of age, gender or nationality, and performs all dialogues in broken German. All characters – in the costume of drag – are affected by otherness: Wong questions with humor the different mechanisms of hierarchy and exclusion in their relationship, indissolubly connected to the constitution of gender identity.
Rommelo Yu´s video installation Mike (2002) focuses on the view itself, which produces and projects body images. In a pitch dark room the the projection of a black man isolated from his identity and social role becomes slowly and schematically visible, before being once again extracted from the image. Yu generates a subliminal threat and physical anxiety by leaving the hierarchy of power ambivalent and open.
(Translation: Ricardo Domeneck)
-Sadie Benning: Videoworks Volume 1, 1989-90 DVD, 35:00 min, b/w, Sound
-Rommelo Yu: Mike, 2002, 28,00 min., Transfer from Digibeta to DVD, Loop, Color, Sound
-Ming Wong: Angst Essen / Eat Fear, 2008, 27,00 min., Digital Video Installation, Color, Sound