In this part of the exhibition there was also room for questioning what we are actually looking at. The video installation „Glutinosity“ (2001) by Aernout Mik depicts how police officers try to tear apart a group of protestors in the street. After a while it is no longer clear, however, who is fighting whom and thus the question arises: who is actually in control? The video turns out to be a carefully staged and choreographed scene about power.
The further viewers walked into the ‘inner city,’ the more it was up to them to rethink their positions and prejudices towards the proposed personal stories, as they were confronted with particular artistic positions.
Take, for example, the two-channel video installation by Daya Cahen. In „Nashi“ (2008), Cahen uses an observational strategy to closely approach the bodies and faces of teenagers who joined one of the huge summer camps organized by a nationalist youth movement in Russia. With a clever montage of two different images that expose the same subject from different camera angles, she invites the viewer to just look.
This presentation format formed a stark contrast with the monumental portraits of Shany (2002–2003) by Rineke Dijkstra, which were placed inside a cubicle. The interval with the other works was stretched here to create an isolated space for the five images of Dijkstra’s series. We aimed to give the viewer headspace to relate to the world of this adolescent girl who was obliged to serve the military in her home country Israel.
As a proposition to question how and why young people turn radical and whether their radicalism is in fact something we need to stay away from or embrace, in the final part of the show we situated some tough works that, in particular with the knowledge of today, give a harsh look at how radical behavior could affect our societies.
Eva Leitolf’s landscape series „German Images – Looking for Evidence„ (2006–2008) is a carefully conducted photographic documentation of specific locations where racially and nationalistically inspired violence took place throughout Germany. Leitolf often looks for a balance between text and images in her museum presentations. The framed images were evenly positioned from each other on the wall, and sequenced on the basis of their aesthetical features. The prolonged captions that unraveled the story behind these land- and city-scapes could be read in a take-away leaflet, making the imprint of the image resonate while the viewer engaged with the highly detailed information about the events depicted.
While nearing the end of exhibition, the sequencing of the photographic works described above, mostly in series, was interrupted by the use of a stand-alone image of an ambiguous character. We decided to place the picture „Neon“ that showed two young boys sitting on a roof, from Tobias Zielony’s series „Cluj Napoca„ (2006), all on its own on a wall. It is up to the visitor to make up his mind and decide who they are, and what they might be up to or not.