In his interactive performances and multimedia installations, Christian Falsnaes deals with communicative processes, power structures, and social dynamics, which he further probes in his new video installation SELF, presented on the occasion of Gallery Weekend Berlin.
SELF is based on an experiment. A video shows a group that moves together through the city of Berlin and carries out various actions. It is unclear what brought these individuals together, what purpose they pursue, where they go or where they come from. The collective actions are choreographed and run according to exact agreements. The individual bodies become attuned to one another, so that movement, body language, and expression are increasingly synchronized. What emerges is a swarm, a mob, a decentered collective body.
The actions of the group undermine habitual patterns of action in public space and are designed to evoke reactions and friction. But above all, it is the collective execution, the literally cumulated energy, whose effect is to be explored: What force can a group develop?
A second video shows a similar scenario, but with only a single person being accompanied. They too run through the city, executing actions, suddenly changing their behavior, their expression, his body language.
SELF invites us to analyze, to observe our own actions. The spatial arrangement of the installation allows the viewer to see only one of the two videos at a time while the sound of the other video remains audible. Additionally, even the size of the projections triggers a physical identification with what is seen. What effect does the voice of the individual have compared to a chorus? What is the presence of a singular body, how much space does it occupy? To what extent does an individual acting alone have an influence on his environment? How is affiliation signaled in a group? In which way is the individual, but also the collective body, constituted in relation to its external world?all images © the gallery and the artist(s)