Judith Siegmund :: Visual Art, Conceptual Art, Philosophy

Social Noises III

(Artist Interviews, Video Works, Questionnaries, Boxes and Banners in Public Space, Exhibition) 2000

Utilizing such diverse media as questionnaires, interviews, script installations, transparencies and video recordings, Siegmund investigates with an almost scientific accuracy the thoughts, fears and hopes of the “normal” citizen along the border regions of the European Union regarding foreigners and xenophobia. The snatches of dialogue and pictures collected by the artist can now also be perused and examined in the form of a book.

According to the artist, the outcome of the artistic research projects is itself an element of a possibly enlightening process of reception. It offers substance in the form of associations and experiences. However, it does not in this way by any means conform to the principles of sociology or political science. Rather, it corresponds to a principle of raw form documentation emerging from the material itself and, in turn, induces the viewer to mentally interact with the concept of foreignness and of being foreign rather than to merely partake in simple aesthetic rumination. Ever faithful to the concept of artistic neutrality Siegmund never intervenes in the principles and opinions but instead simply churns up and documents the border experience as shared by Europe and “Non-Europe,” the trusted proverbial and the unfamiliar. This project places the inhabitants of peripheral regions into the spotlight and gives them the chance to articulate themselves.

Peter Carrier