ELISABETH SMOLARZ

FREUND HEIN, 2007, 6 channel video installation, 5:00

 

FREUND HEIN is an anachronistic German vernacular expression, ‘Hein’ being the impersonation of Death as an unwelcome ‘friend’ knocking on once door. For the video installation I conceptualized a performance based video project as an exploration of the question of death. Since the human death is typically hidden from everyday life what is the source of our death-image? I invited people of different ages and backgrounds to come to a studio and asked them ‘to die’ in front of the camera. I invited people of different ages and backgrounds to my studio and asked them ‘to die’ in front of the camera. The participants were free to improvise in whatever way they wanted to pretend the act of dying. Some choose to be ‘shot’, some were ‘stabbed’, some ‘chocked', others said ‘good bye’, laid down and ‘died’.

The sequences of these performances were mostly short, maximum a few minutes, showing that most people imagine the act of dying as an abrupt event, a crass unexpected rupture in the experience of an everyday time continuum.

 

Selected screenings and exhibitions:

Technocracy, Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh

The Mirror Stage, Independent Museum of Contemporary Art (IMCA), Cyprus

Aljira Emerge 8, Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art, Newark

Detour, Third International Video Festival, Cairo

Strange Screen, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki

Video Dumbo, Art under the bridge Festival, Brooklyn, New York

Gaza’s International Festival for Video Art 2010, Gaza

Kill Your Timid Notion Festival, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland, UK