(Im)possible Identities

The basic idea of the project is to imagine a world or society in which identities that are considered „impossible“ become possible.

The work circle startet 2018 as part of a 3-month artist in residency program by Goethe Institute Indonesien and Cemeti Institute for Art and Society in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and is still ongoing. The research centred on ghosts and spirits, particularly as personifications of the unknown. Therefore different contexts were explored: from Javanese belief systems such as kejawen to the plenitude of horror movies in Indonesian cinema, from friends’ ghost stories to spiritual sites as well as on the term hauntology mainly formed by british author Mark Fisher. Who has the power to decide what is possible and what is impossible? Is there a space in-between, a space of transgression, a space that is never fixed, instead always in-becoming – like identity itself –, always relational and open to negotiation? Maybe one possible “space in-between” is a space where the unknown is not feared, where the unexpected is valued and where multiple identities can co-exist.

Suzzanna van Osch

(trailer) experimental film, 10.50min, Indonesia/ Germany, 2020

Ausgehend von der These, dass Biografien ständig im Fluss sind und per se Widersprüche in sich vereinen, spürt der Film mit der Figur der als Ikone des indonesischen Horror-Films geltenden Schauspielerin Suzzanna van Osch den ungreifbaren Identitäten von Geistern nach. Geister sind essenziell ambigue Wesen. Als körperlose Erscheinungen existieren sie in einem unbestimmten Kontinuum, in dem die Grenze zwischen Leben und Tod aufgehoben ist. Sie sind wirklich und unwirklich, menschlich und monströs, sichtbar und unsichtbar, wesenhaft und entwest. Ihre Wunderkräfte ermöglichen ihnen, physikalische Gesetzmäßigkeiten und gesellschaftliche Regeln zu überwinden, um ihren Sehnsüchten, Affekten und Rachegelüsten ungehindert nachzugehen. Im Film hangeln sich dokumentarische Aufnahmen an scheinbar nebensächlichen Details entlang, rücken diese für einen Augenblick in den Fokus, ziehen weiter. Die Kamera sucht in überbelichteten oder unscharfen Einstellungen nach Momenten der Auflösung und Verdichtung, die sich an technisch perfekten Visualisierungen reiben. Überlagerte Filmbilder verbinden sich mit grafischen Elementen, Tonaufnahmen und Videoeffekten zu einer digitalen Collage der multiplen Brüche. Ton und Bild verhalten sich dabei nicht synchron und lassen die Kontinuität von Raum und Zeit aufklaffen, um die konträren Eigenschaften von Identitäten, lokalen Ritualen und dem Kino selbst zu befragen. Eine weibliche Voice-Over-Stimme intoniert eine fragmentarische Narrative der paradoxen Selbstreflexionen und diskrepanten biografischen Referenzen, die das Geschehen schwebend rahmen. (Text: Belinda Grace Gardner)

ghost portraits

2018

assemblage

test test test

test test test

portrait 1-14, found objects placed on paper, part of the exhibition "Jalan Panjaitan No.42" (8. Salon, Hamburg, Germany 2019) und "How can we learn from ghosts?" (Cemeti - Institut for Art and Society, Yogyakarta, Indonesia 2018)

What can we learn from ghosts?

Lecture Performance, premiere: Hantologische Kongress, Irreality.tv, Brut, Wien, Austria, 2019

Six portraits, consisting of found objects, are placed under a live-video camera and linked to stories of ghost indentities from Yogyakarta/ Indonesia. How can those biographies help us to lose our fear about the unknown and widen our imagination about the variety of personal features?

Jalan Panjaitan No. 42

8. Salon, Hamburg, Germany, 2019

exhibition

found objects on paper, carpet installation, cushion, video projection, journal

Jalan Panjaitan No. 42 is the adress of "Cemeti - Institut for Art and Society", in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, were Katharina stayed and worked for 3 month as an artist in residence by Goethe Institut Indonesia. The exhibition shows ghost portraits made out of found objects, a carpet and cushion installation, a first version of what will later become the film "Suzzanna van Osch", a collaged journal and interviews of the workshop participants recorded in Yogyakarta.

How can we learn from ghosts?

interviews of workshop participants, Cemeti - Institut for Art and Society, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 2018

The participants of the workshop were asked to bring an object related to a personal ghost story. After sharing these stories, the objects were transformed into shadow protraits, using the techniques of photogram and lumen print. Therefore a mobile black and white photo developing laboratory was installed inside the gallery. In a special „recording room“, the participants were asked to introduce their shadow portrait and to tell more about how they relate to ghost in their daily lives.

How can we learn from ghosts?

Cemeti - Institut for Art and Society, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 2018

workshop

workshop

workshop

workshop coop Afdruk56 (mobil photo lab collective) and Kamera Lubang Jarum (KLJ) collective, Cemeti - Institut for Art and Society, Yogjakarta, Indonesia

How can we learn from ghosts?

Cemeti - Institut for Art and Society, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 2018

exhibition

found objects placed on paper (ghost portraits), baboo installation, video projection, research material, photograms and interviews by workshop participants

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