Improve yourself! Change! Adapt! Be unique! The present vibrates with imperatives for self-optimization, and via an endless flow of YouTube tutorials countless motivational coaches teach us the right tricks for our daily struggle for survival. This is the moment to reach next level, and if you fail, it's entirely your own fault.
With “7 Rituals – Over Ruins - for Tomorrow” we take a lead from those popular tutorial formats, but under decidedly reversed signs: Our exercises do not promise a better performance in the present, but the acquisition of skills that we need for living in a future that ultimately has turned out well. Efficiency detached from work and ambition or overcoming the physical – everything is possible.
In Berlin’s Kleistpark subway station, the video tutorials hover above a landscape of ruins, that blends long-forgotten utopian architectural fragments with arrangements of polygonal objects typical for early experiments in computer graphics: Between pot plants and high rise slabs, scales and vanishing points blur, nature proliferates, branches of birch everywhere, while neon tubes flicker picturesquely.
Are these the traces of a crisis-ridden past, which, in the tutorials’ present, we will have successfully overcome? Or is this a late echo of Roger M. Buergel's reflection, whether modernity could be our antiquity? The ruins motif also establishes a reference to the romantic era, whose traces can still be found in the idealized future of the tutorials.
Video installation by Gruppe Lifestyle with Cécile Bally, Maike Zimmermann, Martina Dee, Sara Wendt and Stephan Becker
HD Screen, 7 video tutorials, woven fabric, polystyrene
German, with English subtitles
2018 / 2020
Cécile Bally (concept, choreography, performance), Maike Zimmermann (camera, editing), Martina Dee (performance), Sara Wendt (costume) und Stephan Becker (idea, concept, performance)
Advice & Support ‘7 Rituale’: Gabriel Dolmetsch, Kathrin Schömer, Kristina Herresthal, Linda Kuhn, Nadia Pilchowski, Tara Afsah, Ruschka Steininger
Advice & Support ‘Über Ruinen’: Linda Kuhn, Sara Wendt
Exhibition from March 2 to April 26 2020