Artists: Elvira Axt & Juliana Paek
Exhibition title: Odium Generis Humani
Venue: BPA, Cologne, Germany
Date: October 16, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and BPA, Cologne
Odium Generis Humani ( latin: Against the human race)
Based on the drawing the “four witches” by Albrecht Dürer, who depicted four naked woman as a treat to humanity, Elvira Axt and Juliana Paek started a visual conversation, while observing the actual online developments during the isolation.
In the digital performance they dealt with the current fear about cyborgs, hyper-capitalism and digitalisation in a constantly world wide web changing society.
The viral Korean trend named “Mukbang” are online-videos, where one eats absurd amounts of food ( usually cheap, fabricated convenience-store food ) while recording themselves.
This trend can be interpreted as an amalgamation of hyper capitalism, Asia fetish/hype and fetishes in general.
This obscure phenomenon, that was birthed by the Internet, has a profound meaning though:
Kyung Kim, who is a professor for east asian studies is postulating that “ Mukbangs are an antithesis to Korean pop culture. The act of eating is inherently raw and real, whereas Korean pop culture is consisting of artificial elements ( K-dramas, K-pop, cosmetic surgery).”
While the one performer is doing the Mukbang, the other is playing the life simulating game Sims, where the only goal of the game is to consume. The entire performance is a simulation of a sims video they did before. So it’s becoming a simulation of a simulation.
“ SIMILAR TO THE CREATURES IN THE DEEP SEA, BITING THE WIRE THAT IS CONNECTING OUR COMMUNICATION, OUR AVATARS ARE CONNECTED THROUGH A WIRE. THE COMMUNICATION BECOMES INVISIBLE IN THE APPEARANCE OF CONNECTION “
The performers don’t notice each other, until the one is cutting off the invisible wire, which is connecting them. In the realisation of their both existence, they leave the room, leaving pills on the ground, as a metaphor for the addiction that is within the virtual space.
THE LIFTING OF THE BODY IN THE HARDWARE. THE ABSOLUTE IMMANENCE OF BEING DISSOLVED FOR THE VIRTUAL HOLOGRAM
Music by Armin Maddah