By Eva Weingärtner
Eva Weingärtner (*1978, DE, lives in Offenbach) appears exclusively in almost all of her video works. Sometimes the artist seems to be enacting a performance or an intimate drama—without an audience and for herself alone—in the closed- circuit consisting of a camera, the actress, and the monitor. Other times the videos seem to be exercises or experiments, in which one is supposed to see a certain sequence of action or specific situation. True of all her video works is that they are extremely short but intensely fascinating, because despite their pre-conceived planning, they develop in an unexpected but not shocking manner. The works repeatedly deal with the problem one’s own and other’s perceptions and revealing or hiding strengths and weaknesses. But who sees whom in the process? In Weingärtner’s videos the setting of each self-experiment is usually fully obvious. She often works with simple tools; light, sound, props, and the camera placement are sometimes “home- made” in the truest sense of the word. Everything is authentic, one to one, and unpretentious—with atmospheric sound and without post-editing. Precisely because the production of her videos is so pared down, the dramaturgy of the works unfolds with such force.
The four-minute video “2me” (2010) shows a young woman who is looking at herself or confronting herself. Or precisely not managing to confront herself? In any case, silent and concentrated, she is looking at herself in the mirror, from as close a distance as possible—sometimes critically, sometimes with approval, some- times with longing, sometimes with a bored air. She hugs it, caressing it, and kissing it, not being able to really make contact with it or pull herself away. She seems virtually chained to this mirror image and thus also to herself. Each action of the artist gives rise to different speculations about her state, ranging from narcissism to autoeroticism and even self-hate. The astoundingly simple image of this autonomous, bodily action confronts the viewer with the full range of possible relationships to the self.
Holger Kube Ventura, Director of Kunstverein Frankfurt, Text for the exhibition guide of PER SPECULUM ME VIDEO ( 30.10.2013- 5.1.2014), Frankfurter Kunstverein