The video installation “MONKEY_UP” examines the area of conflict between the real and the virtual world in order to disclose human life conditions of absolute vulnerability and exposedness that reproduce in both worlds.
The point of departure is a hotel destroyed from “the inside” as well as from “the outside”. The location is hard to place for the audience. It’s only later that the protagonist approaches the familiar, urban city scape with the fragility and elegance of an animal crawling on all four. The double projection interweaves images of parkour (1) runners, gymnasts, skaters, and virtual figures from computer games. The actors set signs with their bodies by freezing in acrobatic poses time and again, in the process of which they use their surroundings for their purposes and enthuse through complex motion sequences. The installation “MONKEY_UP” puts the language of bodily form in relation to architecture and adds to it with a rising sound aggregation to the rhythm of the moving image. The fast pace of our current everyday experience is equalised with bodily tension. Thus “MONKEY_UP” transforms playfully interdependency and partly active imagination (2) into a new urban body awareness. The improvisations of the parkour runner Paul Wehrwein in overcoming obstacles seem smooth and leave the impression of elastic simplicity. Actually, the movements are extremely controlled and the result of rigorous training. Athletes exchange new tricks, techniques, and moves via the Internet. The constantly growing community of parkour runners has developed consistently since the opening of the YouTube portal. Through the role models mediated through the media the game has gained a new interactive dimension.
“MONKEY_UP” does not only address the human being’s - interconnected with his everyday life dependencies- ecstatic enhancement of oneself, but examines the drifting of power relationships. How much authority does the virtual world gain? How to escape its seduction? Does the digitally net worked reference come closer to the concept of humanity than the drabness of the real existence? Where do borders blur and where can we find alternatives through art?