JAPAN MEDIA ARTS FESTIVAL

Art Division
Excellence Award

Wutbürger

Video installation
KASUGA (Andreas LUTZ / Christoph GRÜNBERGER)
[Germany]
Wutbürger
©Andreas Lutz, Christoph Grünberger
 
The video installation Wutbürger deals with the personal anger and individual failure of a German man. The protagonist Stefan W. (an ‵‵ev- eryman") lives through different stages of his life in retrospective, which finally casts him to a hostile present, that becomes a prison with no way back. In a custom-built wooden box, a five-hour perfor- mance was first recorded and is now exhibited in exactly this box (rear projection) again. During a guerilla intervention tour through Germany (‵‵Isolation episode"), the box was placed in front of typical locations carrying a collective ‵‵Wutbürger potential" (Nuclear power plants, European Central Bank, Mass surveillance facilities) but also containing elements of personal anger like hedonism, bor- ing suburbs, neglect. The box acts as a demonstrating and protesting surrogate for everybody.
Reason for Award
The German word “Wutbürger” means “enraged citizen”. Used to refer to those who raise their voices in opposition to a variety of political issues, it was chosen as Germany’s “Word of the Year” in 2010. But the protagonist, who dwells in a box throughout this 13-act, one-man play, is angry about very personal concerns. Initially, it seems as if a political issue has been reinterpret- ed as something personal. But as part of a project called the “Isola- tion Episode”, the artists brought the box to places where protests against things like nuclear power plants and the European Central Bank seemed likely to occur. This allowed personal and political anger to intersect again. It might be seem far-fetched to invoke the feminist phrase, “The personal is the politi- cal”, but the work questions the contemporary relationship between the two, and depicts an important, topical subject in a humorous man- ner. (SATOW Morihiro)
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