directors lounge monthly screening
live punkt null
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Rigoletti Live Punkt Null — Live Point Zero
With Humboldt 21 special
LIVE at DIRECTORS LOUNGE
This evening with Rigoletti alias Marion Pfaus will be a mixture of screening and performance. Rigoletti, who claims to have been granted the titel "the most unknown pop-star", has made quite a name for herself. With her lively, busting ways, she has gained presence on a multitude of platforms and media. To call her filmmaker would not be the right term, Rigoletti "makes videos". She both addresses the media itself — "16:9 Full HD" is an ironical and media-political discussion of the "new media" high definition video, which uses the form of educational film — and she addresses themes ranging from mundane to politically charged topics such as the founding of "Humboldt 21", an association she is promoting. "Humboldt 21" shall already be concerned with the planing and preparation of the demolition and remediation of the not yet built remake of the "Berlin City Castle" in the center of Berlin, which will be called "Humboldt Forum". As experience teaches, buildings on this site would not last for very long, she argues, and remediations could be complicated and expensive, as the demolition of the "Palast der Republik", the former GDR parliament building on this very site, has shown. It is thus a due task to have an early start with planing the demolition of the coming remake of the city castle. Such ironic interventions in public themes, seemingly trivial or stuck in concealed oppositions (like the castle discussion), are typical for Marion Pfaus. She thus subversively questions the doxa, the prevailing opinion (not to be mistaken with common sense). Presented with dry humor and blazing dilettantism, the artist also makes clear her objectives are her serious concerns.
The artist, who studied media design, also works and publishes in other media. In collaboration with her colleague Felicia Zeller, she published online projects such as http://www.landessexklinik.de (State Sex Hospital) and the CD-ROM "Mut der Ahnungslosen" (Courage of the Ignorant). In 2006 her novel "Aus den Memoiren ein Verblühenden" (Memoirs of an Early Withering Flower) has been published as book + CD.
As examples of her online presence, parts of her video series "Phänomene des Alltags" will be shown, the artist will perform live her concept of "Fremdbloggen" (third party blogging), and she will give a performance about the founding of the association "Humboldt 21" and the plans for the remediation of Humboldt Forum.
"Phänomene des Alltags" (phenomenology of every day) is a series of short videos, which sometimes with a chuckle and sometimes with biting humor follow every day occurrences of urban life, such as the levels of bike ownership. According to Rigoletti, bike owners usually step down several levels of ownership, Level 3 — the bike is complete and usable, Level 2 — it is broken, Level 1— it is only in parts (with different sub-levels), and "gone" as Level 0. Or, her observation of drivers passing red lights in relation to the fines the Berlin Senate misses by ignoring this source of public income.
What distinguishes the art of Rigoletti from a comedian, in German called Kleinkunst (minor arts)? On one hand, it is the seriousness with which she addresses her themes, issues that nag at her. Instead of looking for funny motifs, the artist constantly seems to be rubbed against the grain by her surroundings, her reactions leading to an inexhaustible source for images and projects. On the other hand, a good portion of her self-irony reflects on the making of art in general, and the position of the artist in society. The "video letters" between her and Felicia Zeller are clear examples. As de-specialized artist Rigoletti criticises an art production that has specialized as a reaction to the art market, and a society of divided responsibilties. Moreover, with biting practiced dilettantism, she also fights off the expectation for the omnipotence of the artist, or the ideal of the "renaissance mastership". Last not least, her self-dramatization as "most unknown pop star" reflects on the contemporary need for the artist to be a pop icon, which is fed by the art business and the mass media, and she does so not unsuccessfully. This strategy, followed by many artists since the rise of pop art, is still valid and opportune.
This night of screenings and performance promises to become a highlight of the Directors Lounge screening series. As always, there will be opportunity for Q&A with the artist.