press release

Martin Brand's work Eyes Wide Shut, exhibit in the Dortmunder Kunstverein, puts the visitor in a nonverbal 'dialog' with those portrayed. This multi-channel video installation shows five adolescents between the ages of 16 and 18, who face the viewer in a 'larger than life' sized manner. The standing teenagers are wearing jeans and t-shirt, gazing straight ahead, silently, without gestures. The distance between the image and space, observer and observed is reduced to such a degree, that the observer actually begins to feel observed.

Through the change in the observer's behavioral patterns, as well as the possible reciprocal influence between the object of art and the observer, Brand exhausts the possibilities of his genre to the limits of stative video. Within the portrait motif, Martin Brand's video works maneuvers midst the spectrum of medial limits existing between photography, documentation and fiction.

Martin Brand was born in 1975 in Bochum, Germany and studied Art and German Philology in Bochum and Dortmund until 2002. He lives and works as an artist and filmmaker in Cologne.

In the past years, he has created a series of video projects based on observations and thoughts regarding social / societal, as well as political activities and conditions. In doing so, his works often range between documentational and fictional nature, coincidental observation and staging. A distinctive feature of Brand's working method is his use of video as a medium for confrontation and insecurity, by making the camera lens act as the eye of the observer.

Characteristic of his work is the consistent contention with adolescents, cliquebuildung and group hierarchies. In this context, he created works such as Breakdance (2003/2004), Pit Bull Germany (2004), Match (2005), Turku Portraits (2006), MySpace (2007/2008) and Eyes Wide Shut (2008).

The Dortmunder Kunstverein shows an overview of his in the years 2007 and 2008 resulting video work. An exhibition catalog appears (Ger. / Eng.) at Kerber Verlag, Series: edition young art.

The work was created in the framework of scholarship of Kunststiftung NRW.

The exhibition is supported by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein Stiftung Kunstfonds Hypo Real Estate color-offset-wälter

Martin Brand - Eyes Wide Shut
a collaboration of Dortmunder Kunstverein and Hartware MedienKunstVerein