Video Guards for Berne
For the "Zeitmaschine"/"Time Machine" exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Berne, Switzerland, from March 22 - July 21, 2002, five museum attendants and Dr. Peter Schneemann, professor at the University of Berne, were the subjects of the video installation. The work was commissioned by the curator of the exhibition, Dr. Ralf Beil, and was a new version of my work "Videowächter"/"Video Guards" from 1993.
The upper bodies of the six guards are alternately shown on the three monitors positioned in the museum. The guards welcome, observe, and reprimand the visitors: "Nichts berühren bitte!" (Please don't touch!), "Sie haben da was fallen lassen!" (You dropped something!). They are bored and do the things guards normally do. They clear their throats or blow their noses. The museum attendants, who are part of the museum institution and are usually in the position of being unnoticed observers looking after the art works, and the art historian, who as a theorist addresses the art works within the museum, become art works themselves in this piece. A "work of art" thus guards the other works of art – video surveillance for the Berne Museum of Fine Arts.
Actors: Franco Castrovillari (photo below), Beat Gerber, Annemarie Graf, Daniel Kohler, Ursula Romanzin, Professor Peter Schneemann (photo above)