BULERIA, 2015
Video, 7.48 min.
Edition 6 + 2 AP
 
Costume by Silke Faber
Light by Thorsten Kosellen
Vocals by Bariton Martin Gerke
 
 

 
 
Six performers pose, unmoving, in the space of an otherwise empty gallery, like items on display. At the sound of a camera’s shutter, each performer takes out a mobile phone and begins to film her- or himself. The group does not perform together, as an ensemble; rather each performs, as if privately, for themselves, via the intermediary of the phone, and the film itself is primarily structured as a montage of these individual recordings.

In our demanding contemporary society one is expected to be always advertising and promoting oneself, to exhibit one’s identity, to create one’s identity through exhibition. In this work, the performers show off, perform caricatured roles, enacting exaggerated embodiments of vanity, self-presentation, seduction, compulsion, and dependence. In this way, the performers simultaneously expose themselves and reduce themselves to a cliché. Playing up to their representation in the form of the images on their handheld devices, the performers neglect direct interactions with one another in favor of the imagined gaze of the observer on the other side of the screen. Only the artist herself plays the voyeur, filming the other performers as she moves among them.

The work’s title, Bulería, comes from a style of Flamenco in which the performers make fun of themselves, and is one of a series of works by the artist that take themes from Flamenco as their starting points.
 
 
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