For Week 1 (March 15 – 21) Anna Witt has chosen three timely works which discuss the future of human relating and the work force.
Also her latest video installation Unboxing the Future which is discussing how automation and artificial intelligence influence the working situation in an industrial city like Toyota, Japan is now exclusively in full length on view on our website until April 15.
Anna Witt is asking:
What does solidarity between generations mean these days? How do we value care work? How do we create visibility? Do you think it’s time to revaluate (importancies)?
How do you want to work? What are you working for? How do you define yourself?
What are your professional goals? -Are they really your goals, or the goals of the company?
How much safety do you need? What means freedom for you? Where are your boundaries?
How do you see the future?
HD video, colour, sound
5 + 1 AP
The video project Care is about two geriatric nurses in Japan. A group of amateur dancers developed a piece of choreography based on the work routines and experiences of two young Indonesian nurses working in dementia care.
The dancers, influenced by Butoh and improvisational dance, were in some cases already around eighty themselves. They performed their personal interpretation of the care work as an intervention in the public space of the Maebashi city center, which is feeling the effects of an aging and shrinking population.
On a textual level, the nurses explain what motivated them to leave Indonesia and look for work abroad. We learn of a massively aging society, in which the care of the elderly is a task traditionally performed by daughters and daughters-in-law, and the sensitive relationship between the workers and their elderly patients. The dancers in the video Care interpret the personal experiences and movements of the Indonesian nurses, whose existence in society remains largely invisible.
Closeness, physical contact, self-surrender, allowing oneself to be carried, empowerment, and disempowerment are important themes of interpersonal relations, which always concern the dignity of the individual and are thus politically charged.
Body in Progress
5-channel 4K video installation, colour, sound
3 + 1 AP
The video installation Body in Progress by Anna Witt engages with ways of imagining and optimizing the world of work and life. Here they are conceptualized through an analogy between work and workout.
In a 5-channel video, panoramas and details of the work environment in the area’s hotels, construction sites, and Erste Campus offices are interwoven with shots of athletic interventions into a fragmentary whole.
Anna Witt asked a group of calisthenics athletes to use the buildings and work areas for their bodyweight exercise. The relatively new extreme-lifestyle sport of calisthenics is about free body training, which largely eschews fitness machines and can be done anywhere, at any time. Characteristics such as commitment, individuality, freedom from rules, and self-optimization – attributes of our contemporary working world – are symbolically transferred to the body.
There is also textual content, based on the artist’s conversations with working people on-site, which explores their experience with work as a power factor and what they understand that to mean, as well as utopias and reflections on the relationship between the individual, work, and society.
Das Radikale Empathiachat
In collaboration with Maria Bujanov, Phillip Borchert, Anja Engelhardt, Belve Langniss, Blandia Langniss, Chiara Rauhut, Lena Schubel
2-channel HD video, colour, sound
3 + 1 AP
Anna Witt has followed a group of young people in Leipzig while developing a manifesto for a potential youth movement. The young adults have spent several months realizing this project in close cooperation with the artist. In their conversations, they discuss their personal ideas of social utopias and are expressing their own feelings about the prevailing systems.
By questioning and deconstructing consisting norms and values of our society, they are following their ideas of these concepts and their meanings to articulate the youth movement’s inherent purpose.
According to their own imagination and sensations, they translate their manifesto into physical forms of expression and performative interventions in the public space.
This project has been developed with significant contribution by the group, not just as participants but as co-authors from the beginning and throughout the whole process. Utopian approaches are openly expressed without comment and provoke the viewers to take a position.
Exploring authorship and hierarchies within participatory concepts play a particular role in Anna Witt’s artistic practice. In doing so, the artist creates fictional spaces to enable a certain distance when questioning society and one’s own positions in a playful way.