_Lives in Vienna

Heldinnen (Lotte, Ingrid, Christine), 1999
Video (color, no sound), each 4'3''
Courtesy of the artist


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They talk about their work, how they began doing it, what they have to do, for what companies they work, who they are and what they think. All of their movements are documented on video. Through the video image women can be observed laughing, talking and listening. The video shows persons in action. It is actually an essential quality of a person that he/she acts. To perform an action, the motive of the action must at least in part reside in the person. She does this, because she …, she says this, because she …

My heroines, however, have no control over themselves. The motive for their actions does not reside in them. They do not move by themselves, they are moved. Like heroes whose capabilities and talent are indebted to a supra-natural power. This is also the reason why there are only heroes on screens and in books. Heroes are on their way from subject to object. Objects do not have a language, they are spoken by us, i.e., they describe and explain. Do they offer resistance to this reification? If we were to ask them, their answer would not count, since the motive for their answer lies outside of them. This reification is something familiar for us, we can observe it everyday. In advertisements, when animation and video is mixed, in cartoons. Thus we are hardly ever aware of the uncanny nature of this reification when subjects become objects. In order to elaborate this aspect of reification I had to destroy the traditional structure of video. However, it would not have been enough to simply play the video slower and to thus destroy the temporal structure. I first had to banish all motion from the video and turn it into a photograph and then teach the photographs to move and to make them into a video. From the subject of photography to the object of video. (..)

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