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Events 2003

Exhibition | Cabinet

Carola Dertnig

Opening: July 9, 2003, 7 p.m.
Speaker: Rike Frank, Vienna

Within the series “Areas of Action”

Carola Dertnig’s videos show the marked influence of her earlier performances and the historical roots of performance art. Strangers, her most recent work (based on the text of “Die Fremden,” 1940, by Lisl Karlstadt / Karl Valentin) will be presented for the first time in 2003 in the Exhibition Cabinet. The work is concerned with the question of how we deal with the subject of strangers in our homeland and how we behave as strangers when abroad. The video is part of True Stories, an ongoing slapstick series produced by the artist since 1997. The series is based on true stories, including personal experiences, and combines both real and staged elements. Working with the comedy of random, everyday situations that border on the embarrasing and the ridiculous, Carol Dertnig focuses on the (self-)perception of women in the “emancipated” society. As the protagonist in (semi-)public space, she stimulates a broad range of different reactions by strangers. In the style of Buster Keaton, Carola Dertnig assumes the role of the clown in her videos – as a reminder that, in our striving for perfection, the harder we try to integrate ourselves into a system, the more likely we are to stumble. “Irony deals with contradictions that cannot be resolved – even dialectically – within a larger whole and with the tension generated by keeping irreconcilable things together … Irony deals with humour and serious play. It is also a rhetorical strategy and a political method, one could only wish … Feminists would pay more attention to.” (Donna Haraway, 1995)

Carola Dertnig, born 1963 in Innsbruck, lives in Vienna

Carola Dertnig, Strangers, 2003

Carola Dertnig, Strangers, 2003

Carola Dertnig, Strangers, 2003