Nov 9 - Dec 22 2005

Corinna Schnitt ONCE UPON A TIME

In her second solo-exhibition at the Gallery Olaf Stüber, Corinna Schnitt is presenting three new video-works.

The new works of Corinna Schnitt focus on the correlation between men, animals and nature in an extended context. The entire abstinence of speech and text is characteristic for the exhibited works, the sound is composed of the noises of the recorded environment. In „Once upon a time“ and „Sunland“ the silent observation and the voyeuristic view are steadily disturbed by the irritating systematic moving of the camera, which additionally attracts attention to itself by its idiosyncratic noises.

In „Once upon a time“ the term „domestic animal“ receives an extended meaning. A camera on the carpet in the living room is rotating around its own axis and is recording a continuing panoramic view. By and by the room gets populated: cats, dogs, rabbits, parrots up to goats and ponies are filling the space. The spectator eagerly awaits the next sequence, for the scenes, which happen in front of and behind the camera, are both a hilarious and tragic row. Only the setting is staged, what goes on is (seemingly) left to the animals themselves. Man is ignored in this scene, at least physically. The absurdity of the confrontation between human living space and domestic animals, who's existence is directly linked to men, gives us pleasure. But it is the inversion of normalcy, which reveals the intrinsic absurdity of reality..

„Sunland“: A camera is scanning the environment: a naked man steps out of a „primeval forest“, a bird sits on his hand. Cut. Next sequence. A second man crouches on the sandy soil. The connecting link between them is this animal, which, even in this fictional paradise, depends on human beings.
We find ourselves back in myth: Schnitt rewrites the story of Creation. But this time the first humans are male. Who could be Eve, who Adam? Both men care for this cockatiel, for having own offspring is not (yet) possible (and maybe it isn't necessary at all?).
The viewer finds him- or herself caught in the structures of society: Schnitt is re-interpreting a culturally anchored image. We attempt to re-assign the parts in our minds. But the recognition of the apparently iconographic tradition allows us to raise questions: How does it feel not to fit in this concept of life? And who determines the concept?

„18.8.2005“: A typical souvenir of a round trip through the States: a snapshot in front of Grand Canyon. In this video work Schnitt irritates our vision habits. The spectator's view is uneasily searching for a fix point he/she can focus and is therefore eventually happy to see the bird, which appears from time to time in the canyon and gives us assurance, that it's not a freeze image. We're forced to observe a corny holiday snapshot more intensively. The focus shifts from the exchangeable person to nature. How many of those kind of pictures do exist, which are nothing more than a proof for "Look! I was here!" ? But nature doesn't care. Life goes on.

Corinna Schnitt inverts the convention, unhinges it from the context and therefore allows us to observe "reality" from a completely new perspective.
The main focus in these works is the inextricably conflict between nature and man, who tries to adopt her but eventually is just a part of her. Schnitt is interested in topics like continuity of society's shape, development of certain norms and conventions and in the position and impact of man within it.

The artist lives and works in Köln and Berlin. Corinna Schnitt has been awarded nationally and internationally: she is, among others, Artist in Residence in the Casa Baldi, Italy, scholarship holder of the Else-Heiliger-Fonds, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and will again teach as a Visiting Artist at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Los Angeles in 2006.

Simone Bogner