Video Guards

Video Guards

1993 – video installation for 2 or 4 monitors

Two museum guards, who are usually found in the position of the unnoticed observer, become the objects of my work. Those who guard artworks have become the work of art themselves. A "work of art" guards the other works of art. Video surveillance. What else was video technology developed for?

An almost annoying, escalating video work that seems to be following the visitor's every step. Both guards watch and regulate the visitors: "Nichts berühren bitte!" (Please don't touch!), "Sie haben da was fallen lassen!" (You dropped something!). They are bored, clear their throats or blow their noses - whatever guards normally do. The men are played by the media theorist Siegfried Zielinski and a "real" guard, Mr. Armin Lauter, from the Museum Ludwig Cologne. Both have careers concerning the forms in which the visual arts appear, especially paying attention to new media; watching it.

The bust of each guard appears in only one monitor, then in the next one as if he is walking from one space/monitor to another. Through this imaginary crossing, the measuring of the space, the distance between the monitors is included in the installation, winding through the exhibition like a chain.

Produced at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne

The installation was first on view at the Art Cologne 93 at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne booth. Through the curator of the exhibition "Video-Skulptur in Deutschland seit 1963", Wulf Herzogenrath, the work was bought by the Institute for Foreign Cultural Affairs and has since been on tour throughout the entire world.