Year: 2020 Length: 00:14:00 Categories: Text / Book / Print, text, Installation, video installation
Project type: Diplom
'To Look Is to Die' is a live-action video installation that primarily presents a speech. The speech takes place in a scene adapted from one picture of the well-recognized photograph series 'Lunch atop a Skyscraper'. Instead of the ironworkers, nine militants are resting on the girder, which refer to the “Tarnac Nine,” a French group of nine anarchist saboteurs. The Tarnac Nine were also suspected of possibly being members of the Invisible Committee, which consists of an anonymous writing group, whose writing predicts the method of the violent resistance movements emerging around the world. The speaker declares itself a highly intelligent insect called the “homo insect”, which has a holometabolous life cycle. In the speech, he asserts to look is to die for his species. To explain this assertion, the speaker describes how their previous self-consciousness will be destructed after pupation. By doing so, he introduces the inherent contradiction of their survival strategy as oviparous animals, which might cause repetitive self-destructions. The work alludes to the spiritual dilemma of numerous current revolutions, namely, the contradiction between elusive goals and urgent crises. Moreover, this project aims to reflect on the ontological presuppositions of the relevant mainstream Western discourse, in particular the ontological presuppositions of self-consciousness and time, and the associated anthropocentric perspective. In this regard, I try to open up an alternative direction for the discussion of social issues by combining the life cycle of insects and hybridizing the theory of mirror stage and the idea of “khanato udayabbaya”, which is a Buddhist concept regarding time as an ensemble compactly composed of discrete, indivisible, extremely short units, rather than a continuous whole.
Prof. Dr. Lilian Haberer, Prof. Frans Vogelaar, Thomas Hawranke
A production of the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.