W139 Amsterdam

W139 - Exhibition space for contemporary art, Amsterdam
NL-1011 AD Amsterdam

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press release

RothStauffenberg, the collaboration of Christopher Roth and Franz Stauffenberg, will be realizing a new site-specific project for W139, entitled ‘Drips of Water Fall Onto China’ (a reference to a particular sound effect in the gigantic online sound archive The Hollywood Edge). The installation, which is made up of two parts, both deconstructs and recreates the cinematographic experience. It is inspired by the ‘nonsense poem’ Chinesisches Couplet by the German performer and writer Karl Valentin (1882-1948), who together with his stage partner Liesl Karstadt is considered one of the greatest comedians of his time.

RothStauffenberg is particularly interested in the no man’s land between documentary realism and cinematographical fiction, between historical truth and myth. Their artistic production is informed by the artists’ unease with concepts like univocality and authenticity. Roth and Stauffenberg employ different forms of (found) imagery, mixing and alternating a variety of genres and formats (from a TV documentary on videoclips and publicity features to animation). With their installations they appear to investigate the codes and methodologies as they are utilized by contemporary film-makers. The duo’s work is often dubbed ‘intelligent media criticism’, but can just as well be viewed as a visual analysis of various narrative strategies or story-telling techniques. In their work, the viewer not only performs the role of observer but also that of ‘co-producer’: he or she is responsible for the meaning ultimately given to the images.

Franz Stauffenberg (Berlin, 1964) and Christopher Roth (Munich, 1964) have been working together since the late 1980s, collaborating under the name RothStauffenberg. In this capacity, the duo participated in the 1991 São Paulo Biennale, the 1993 Venice Biennale and recently the exhibitions ‘Emotion Eins’ in the Kunstverein Frankfurt and ‘3’ in the Schirn Kunsthalle. In addition, the artists work independent of each other in the world of cinema. In 2002, for instance, Christopher Roth realized the controversial movie/docudrama Baader, a radically subjective interpretation of the life stories of the ‘celebrity terrorists’ Andreas Baader and Gudrun Esslin (RAF).


RothStauffenberg "Drips Of Water Fall Onto China"
Roth / Stauffenberg