Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ich bin nicht verrücht

This is practically begging to have a subaltern/queer studies thesis written about it. He's going to be reenacting Ali: Fear Eats the Soul this summer, so it sounds like there's only going to be more material for comparison as time goes on.

This is a video installation by ming wong [sic] developed as part of a personal, self-designed German language and cultural immersion programme, as he was preparing to relocate to Berlin in August 2007.

Believing that one of the best ways to get insight into a foreign culture is through the films of that country, the artist has adopted one of his favourite German films as his guide, "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant" (1972) by Fassbinder, about a successful but arrogant fashion designer in her mid-thirties, who falls into despair when she loses the woman she loves.

Putting himself in the mould of German actress Margit Carstensen in the role of Petra Von Kant - for which she won several awards - the artist attempts to articulate himself through as wide a range of emotions as displayed by the actress in the climactic scene from the film, where our tragic lovesick anti-heroine goes through a hysterical disintegration.

With this work the artist rehearses going through the motions and emotions and articulating the words for situations that he believes he may encounter when he moves to Berlin as a post-35-year-old, single, gay, ethnic-minority mid-career artist - i.e. feeling bitter, desperate, or washed up. ("Ich bin im Arsch")

With these tools, he will be armed with the right words and modes of expressions to communicate his feelings effectively to his potential German compatriots.

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