Gernot Wieland.

* 1968 in Horn, AUT

lives and works in Berlin and Brantevik, SWE


1995-97 University of Fine Arts, Berlin, GER
1990-96 Accademy of Fine Arts, Vienna, AUT
Since 2011 lecturer at UdK - University of Fine Arts, Berlin, GER



Exhibitions [Selection]:

2012 I follow memories, Image Movement, Berlin, GER
2011 Il pensiero autobiografico, Kaleidoscope Space, Milan, ITA
Notre vallée, Musée du chateau des ducs de Wurtemberg, Montbéliard, FRA
2009 Portrait of Karl Marx as a young god, ABC_ DEF, Art Berlin Contemporary, University of Fine Arts, Berlin, GER
You do not leave traces of your presence, just of your acts, Galerie Andreas Huber, Vienna, AUT
2008 Thomas K. Lang Gallery, Webster University, Vienna, AUT

Things that leave me sleepless

Date: 2012
Length: 20:46 min.
Format: 4:3
Specifications: Colour, Sound, Single Channel
Courtesy the artist



The video is about the history of US (eating) culture,  religiousness, a best friendship and where heroes are produced. In the style of a lecture performance, Gernot Wieland’s video “Things that leave me sleepless” introduces us to partly real and partly imaginary events and experiences of everyday life in America and Austria.  The speaker is sitting at a lectern on which a microphone, a glass of water and a laptop stand. His lecture is in English and the background is a PowerPoint presentation showing pictures which illustrate his lecture. These include photographs of people, sketches by Wieland and the invitation to a birthday party, full of colourful clouds.  The two main themes of his tale are his school exchange in the USA and his friendship with his best friend Christian; these he combines with theoretical aspects of psychoanalysis (Freud, Lacan), the theory and history of art (White Cube, Tatlin), and cultural-historical topics (the American Myth). This mixture of personal, biographical experiences dressed up with academic general knowledge creates an amusing confrontation between cultural stereotypes and the academic use of language, based here upon the modern theme of the hero in the USA. Whether the work is a persiflage on contemporary, theory-saturated artistic life or a poetic performative work of art is an open question.

Sabine Halver






► 1. Your work has been chosen among over 2000 festival entries to participate in VIDEONALE.14. In which context do you prefer to present your work, festival/cinema context or exhibition? And what kind of difference does the respective mode of presentation mean for you / your work?


I believe for presenting my work there is not a “one-size“ context, but there are various methods of showing it. I am always intrigued by how impressive it can be to see your own work contextualised by
a form, an idea. Not so much in how the form “speaks“ to the work, or how they interact, but how the work responds to a form and how my work constructs itself while it is narrating. In most of my films I include many different layers of narration and layers of references like objects, fotos, drawings or drawings I made when I was a child. They can be regarded as collaborators to me, and I think of the form of presentation as a collaboration as well.



► 2. Art can be seen as a mirror that registers and reflects life or as a tool that transforms it. Is there a particular theme, concept or problem your art addresses the most?


In “Things that leave me sleepless“, which will be presented at VIDEONALE.14, I have written a lecture performance film, in which I combine plotlines about the desire of a restart as well as the relevance of heros. In general I create through memories, historical reports, personal recollections and fictions my own kind of “scientific” approach, my own kind of a story, always on the verge of being absurd and
tragic-comical. I work with language and images. But I need the images to narrate the absurdity, because language is too exclusive and tends to abolish the real absurdity. I think my work also expresses desire and adresses to an audience. The emotions of the audience are important, they function like an
external part of the work. I am interested in order and its invisible psychological structures, in individuals, who seem driven by a constant obsession. Their role is almost as external as the audience, since they seem to “speak“ in the name of someone else. They serve as a crucial point, or like that fix
point needed in order to move something, to put time out of joint. If you can make things turn around such an awkward character, connect him to different powerpositions, you can gain a new perspective on those positions, make unexpected layers show up, make the position function as a mirror.



► 3. In which way is the video medium an excellent possibility to express your intended subjects, especially in contrast to other media you use? Or do you work exclusively with video?

I don´t work exclusively with video, and I do not think so much of media - I'm into storytelling, I love literature and in my mind pictures, drawings, diagramms or objects can be literary. Then there is the question of how to narrate those stories, and therefore I use film. Or more: I don´t use film, I use the camera to write and to document.



► 4. If you have the chance to ask the visitors of the VIDEONALE.14 exhibition questions about your own work, what would be your question?


I would of course be interested in which feelings my film triggered and if they liked that feeling and how they respond to that feeling. But then, I would be interested if they tell me the truth (laughs), or more, if they know that they tell the truth, if they are aware of their truth. You know, truth is partial and carries a lot of layers in itself. And that remindes me of the sequence of Werner Herzogs film “Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle“ about Kaspar Hauser, when he is asked to find out the truth. Therefore my question would probably be: “Are you a frog?“ (Laughs.)

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