Video installation in: 8 X 2 AUS 7, Steirischer Herbst, Graz; Specks Hof, Leipzig; Manes House Gallery, Prague. Curated by Wilfried Skreiner and Christa Steinle (Graz); Christoph Tannert (Leipzig); Jiri Sevcik (Prague).
FIFTY-fifty investigates the postulate of equality over four exhibitions in four different places. Decisive is the group show 8 x 2 aus 7 in the Neue Galerie Graz: eight international curators each invite two artists (“positions from east and west”). Chiarenza & Hauser divide the room assigned to them into two parts. On each side of the separating wall is a photo of one of the artists dressed as a fool and holding an ineffective weapon. In the other part of the room stand a row of chairs and a table with a tablecloth embroidered with the epigram “Frohe Ostern im reinen Western” (Happy Easter in the purely western). On the wall are photographs of emigrants. On one side of the partitioned wall, a logo is painted in red: “FIFTY-fifty” typographically underlines the unequal distribution of power, while the two lines across from each other – called “the middle line of discontent” and “the clear line” – allude to other blind spots. Both signs were also at the center of the following exhibitions, which always had local elements woven into them.
The installation at Steirischer Herbst, Neue Galerie, Graz consists in: mural writing and red line DIE KLARE LINIE (the clear line), mural writing and red line DIE MITTLERE LINIE DER UNZUFRIEDENHEIT (the middle line of discontent), a wooden partition, the red mural writings TAKE A LOOK AROUND THE CORNER and FIFTY-fifty, a table, a tablecloth with the red-embroidered writing FROHE OSTERN IM REINEN WESTERN, chairs, a TV, a festoon of travel clocks, photographs, captions, stickers, glass panels.
At Specks Hof Leipzig an acoustic installation was broadcast: “Wer nicht verzichten kann, kann auch nicht gewinnen” (Whoever can’t renounce, can also not win), which incited laughter. This merciless market strategy is balanced against a more lasting model, carried out at Manes House City Gallery in Prague. The people in a group portrait look off into different directions. To the left their eyes meet the curtain across the window on which the logo “FIFTY-fifty” has been sewn. Straight ahead, their eyes confront the proverb “Stille Wasser gründen tief” (Still water runs deep) that has been applied to the tablecloth. Piled onto this are glass pyramids that allude to potential wealth.
(Excerpt from text by Susann Wintsch, in: we save what you give, monograph on RELAX, A project by edition fink through Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg, 2006)