• Befindlichkeiten

    Mixed-Media-Installation / 2002

    2 videos / 2 x 11min 30 looped, floor sticker Ø1,20 , 2 digiprints, each 60m x 250 cm

    bef4 befi1 bef3

     

    Two large-format video projections facing each other define the space of Stephanie Maier’s installation Befindlichkeiten: Two apparently identical people look at the viewer and talk down to him. But hardly dubbed a shithead, one is soothed by the fact that it is not oneself but the alter ego of the speaker that is meant. One is witness to a dialogue situation or a soliloquy. Here, no one gives monological certain information about his or her condition, no “I’m fine!” or “I’m lousy!”. We experience the duality of a person who is in a clinch with each other (!), and this is demonstrated by means of a trivial scene that typifies a conflict in a life partnership. But the irritation goes deeper. Gender-specific classifications are suspended. The fact that the spoken text refers to a man-woman relationship seems just as coincidental as the choice of a male actor. Also the variations of the theme – from the reversal of the power relations within the relationship to ostensibly masculine-aggressive or feminine-enticing expressions – are disturbing. Here it is a matter of sounding out the antagonisms of a person, of tracing schizoid personality patterns.

    Common to earlier works by Stephanie Maier is the layered structure of the image, whereby the visually central motif is set in a graphic frame or accompanied by supplementary or interpretive signs. This in particular also through writing or graphic forms abstracted from writing, which can be understood as assignments or allocations.

    Quite different here. With the greatest simplicity, the figure is placed in the picture like a portrait. Seriously-simply dressed – the tie sometimes more, sometimes less casually loosened depending on the temperament of the respective sequence. Only the face and shirt stand out against the dark overall impression. The poetically condensed complexity in the image structure of the previous videos has given way here to an almost documentary flatness, exiled into the soul of the figure, as it were. However, the new formal simplicity is not free of disruptions: strange sounds are superimposed on the spoken word, for fractions of a second the figure topples out of the en-face situation as if choreographed. Like magical layers, these moments dislocate the strict objectivity of image and dramaturgy.
    Matthias v.Tesmar