While the world held its breath in April 2020, Giulietta Ockenfuß in a sun-drenched garden for the exhibition OADE Volume the picture The greatest thing you'll ever learn on an old one Wooden wall. Her painting shows a human figure who crosses her arms behind her head and seems to float over scenery-like fields and settlements as if bedded on water. It is a utopian figure made of green, blue and yellow colors, made of paint and chalk, whose gaze goes nowhere and who is strangely removed from the world. In the course of the year the rain slowly washed the chalk out of the painting and fresh verdigris settled on the wood. You can still recognize a person and a world, but at some point they will be completely gone and then just remain nor the memories and stories from a time that was the greatest biographical and social turning point for all of us marked.
The greatest thing you ll ever learn has become a fleeting testimony to a historical moment. It is a symbol of a time that nobody will simply forget and that inevitably sinks into the past Memory fades and at some point will only exist in stories. This constant - sometimes obvious and radical, but much more often hidden - interplay of times, of present and memory, of image and meaning, this alternation between being and appearance is also a central motif of the work Unleash the Beast, which Giulietta will show at “Koi_Pond”. For this art film in series format, which she made together with Catherina Cramer the artists traveled to Mexico to answer questions of origin, identity and transformation followed up. Your film thrives on the combination of fictional and documentary elements. Performative dialogues in which Fantastic beings with colorful masks talk about the reasons for the upright gait of humans, alternate deal with observations that the two women directors made in Mexico on markets or in the workshops of the mask makers demonstrate. Through this juxtaposition of fictional protagonists: inside and real people who are subject-related and are investigatively questioned about their everyday experiences, the film leaves the viewer in constant tension, to relate oneself to the truth content of the images.
The overarching theme between the on several parts created film and the alternating narrative forms is the element water. The first part, which will be released at the end of 2020 was accompanied by a water monkey and we listen to her as she raises the question of where people come from answered from nature. It is primarily about the aquatic character of the human race and the role of women in learning to walk upright. In contradiction to the often heard opinion that man learned to walk upright on the hunt, the two artists pursue the idea that walking on two legs developed in the water. The film does not simply claim, in the sense of the classic evolutionary theory, that it give an objective answer to this question, but rather spins new aesthetic references between the present and the past. They make it possible to shake off old role models and explore new identities. In partly garish and Punky, sometimes calm, even romantic images, present and past, reality and fiction come together crossed. It is not a completely new realization that the way we remember says more about the present than about the past.
Furthermore, one can assume that the old stories about the origins of people came from a patriarchal and imperial thought pattern of the 19th century and it is high time for new appeals the beginning of human existence in nature. How these could look like, Unleash the Beast negotiates artistically challenging and at the same time entertaining way. The film criticizes rulers with the means of art Ideologies and narratives that prematurely assert objectivity and thereby the potential and the central role misjudge fiction in shaping identity. Like this space of fiction for the present and in retrospect Unleash the Beast is an example of how history can be used aesthetically and is urgently explored in the process necessary and new aesthetic forms and narratives for the 21st century.
Text: Leon Joskowitz
The catalog for the exhibition can be purchased via KVTV shop