How to Escape
HOW TO ESCAPE is an instruction manual for building a raft. Over the period of several weeks, I built a one-person-raft. Audios from DIY Youtube Video tutorials underline the individual steps. Dozens of serious male voices break with the fragile, sisyphos-like endeavor to escape the world on a cardboard raft.
Three channel video installation
Art Diploma AdBK Munich
I shall plant seeds. Post-anthropocene seeds that only come to life in about
30,000 years. Only then will they break open and bloom. Like time capsules they contain memories of the world as it is now. About humankind, about the feeling of being human. So that the seeds survive thousands of years unscathed, they are given nutrients along the way. A small placenta is embedded in each seed. An energy source that nourishes. And an obulus for possible payments on the way to the future. The planting performance was repeated during the diploma exhibition 2020 in the garden of the academy. Many seeds will still have to be planted in this world.
Planting performance during Diploma exhibition
Artist / production: Janina Totzauer
Camera: Matthew Bremner
Fotos: Mara Pollak, Ludwig Dressler
The installation follows the last remaining human on earth. The video shows her and her dog searching for a way to handle the last moments they have left. The loneliness each human might have encountered in his or her life finds its peak. The beautifully conserved objects, that the two might have used to navigate and survive, were displayed together with the video in a post-anthropogenic museum of the year 4589.
Fotos: Mara Pollak
Lab 1 was part of the exhibition “Spielzwang” and handled different human matter in order to continue a game that we stopped playing while growing up. It’s an hommage to the unserious.
Dr. Totzauer shared her lab with Dr. Quast.
A black monolith stands threatening in the room. An artifact from another dimension? Another time? What is inside? Powerful he rests – now and then he communicates through vibrations in a language unknown to us. In the foot of the sculpture – deep in the underground – the sensor of the monolith registers every movement. Monotone noise and diffused light attract the visitor and lures him in. Exposed to the Ganzfeld effect he loses his sensory perceptions – and thus his body – only to connect with a higher reality. The intensity of the vibration in the upper part reflects the visitor’s altered state of consciousness.
With Sebastian Quast.
Fotos: Mara Pollak
Der Magen der Hexe
5 hours / 7 days
The “Magen der Hexe” (“The witch’s stomach”) is a resting place in between the worlds. There, all kinds of creatures find comfort and safety on their journey between our ‘reality’ and the world behind it. By practising different rituals I keep the door to the other world open.
The melon and orange seeds are used by controvercial communities around the globe to threaten their enemies. I bring these symbols of death far away from the mainland to the island of Helgoland and bury them alive. Before I leave they get nurtured with my own tears.
Botse is the Tsonga word for “good”.
The performance Cassiopeia is completely dictated by two tortoises, Schildi and Knorpl. By walking in specific patterns, they told the artist which objects to use and which gestures to act out. If the wisest creature on earth doesn’t know, who does?
The audience followed the performance through a window in the top part of the laboratory.
In “Säk Ho” plays on the roof top over the bustling capital city of Mexico. Traditionally the washing stations on the top of each house are hardly ever used by men, so each brick and every tab is soaked in women’s sweat and scent. My cleansing ritual is nurtured by the feminin aura of this place.
Pestpuppe (plague doll) is the second part of my research on forgotten rituals. This time I hyperbolize the rituals. I adapt them in my own way. The girl’s tears that are needed to fight goat are forced out by lemon juice; the fish is sewn together again and tucked to the ceiling…
1 hour / 10 days
The performance 2393 plays in the year 2393 when human kind faces extinction due to environmental change. Fear has taken over the rest of people that survived and hid in uninteresting places like libraries. The performance refers to the essay “The Collapse of Western Civilization. A View from the Future” by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway and is performanced together with the actress Julia Windischbauer.
Photo credits Mara Pollak.
Verdunkelung shows a child’s room in a war zone. Found everywhere in the world and dedicated to the artist’s father who left his room behind after fleeing from Soviet grounds in 1945.
5. July until 10. September 2017 at Kunstarkaden Munich.
Fotos: Tom Garrecht.
Bread and Nuts
Bread and Nuts is based on the Nick Bostrom’s theory that the world, we live in, is an ancestor simulation. If we are all part of a simulation, what does time, life and death mean to us?
I installed a living room in the exhibition space at Kunstarkaden Munich and used it as a film set. The finished film was then shown on the living room TV at the exhibition. Visitors could watch the actors go through time and space, fall out of it and play with natural forces. The film lets you wonder about so called “reality”. It ends with a live broadcast of the visitors sitting on the couch.
Fischseele (fish soul)
In Fischseele (fish soul) I experiment with old traditions and rituals from the Alps region. Throwing a fish on the ceiling to see if it sticks, letting a candle run down the river, saying a prayer before going to bed nackedly, baking so called “key bread” to secure enough food supply the whole year. Everything has a meaning. The experiments move between superstition and religion, nowadays believe and entertainment.
The rituals were filmed during the AlmResidency at a cabin owned by Gut Oberkammerloh in Bavaria.
Watch also the interview made for the programme “Volle Kanne” at ZDF.
Second prize in the category Media Art at Fünf-Seen-Filmfestival 2017.
Leid hören & Zugewandt
Voices wisper from the underworld of the Ludwigs church in Munich. They are quietly describing different war photographies such as pictures from Abu Graib, the spanish civil war or the Vietnam war. As soon as the visitor walks over the grid that covers the subterranean heating system, he hears the whispers and is forced to get closer to understand. The church is covered with human bodies lying on the floor. The work is dedicated to Susan Sontag and her reflection on displaying human misery in photography.
Photo Credits: Mara Pollak
In “Zugewandt” two benches in the church face the opposite direction as they are supposed to face. The space invites people to communicate with other humans instead of God.
Photo Credits: Mara Pollak
This room belongs to Mrs. Jäger, an imaginary character who combines various human characteristics. The need of nest-building, the need of safety and the inability of letting go.
Mrs. Jäger is an obsessive hoarder. She is part of a group of people that see more then just an object in the things that surround them. Mrs. Jäger has a relationship with each and every object she owns.
Visit her at the Notel Prinzregent, in room 104
Ismaninger Str. 42-44,
from the 2nd – 19th of June
The glass coffin allows the artist a look into the sky. Seeing the snow slowly and gently burying her.
The Pilgrimage to Cape Town
I erased the streets off the maps, I left the important things. I marked holes
and obstacles in the streets, zebra crossings and their number of stripes,
ash trays, rubbish bins, benches, traffic lights and the timings of their red
light periods, beautiful trees, security men, bus stations with and without
roof (important for rainy days), dead trees and many more.
I casted lead sculptures of corners of the city. A screw, the edge of a
pavement, a thingy on a post and many more. They are important to me
and probably completely irrelevant to everybody else.
Performative Video Installation
The Portal brings openess into a closed space. It combines agoraphobia with
claustrophobia. It is a live and interactive art piece.
Connecting the outside world of a desert with the inside world of a tunnel in the exhibition space by using a live video conference.
The first active live video conference between desert and tunnel took place on the 5th of June 2015. The tunnel was located at the Michaelis Galleries in Cape Town, South Africa. The outside station was located in the Karoo desert at position 32°19’31.8″S 19°44’38.9″E. The visitor could watch the desert live in the tunnel and the desert could watch the inside of the tunnel live on a tube tv.
Meister und Werke
What is art? Who decides over the art market and the horrendous prices?
Why can’t you order art like you order a chair or a kitchen desk?
Don’t we need affordable art for everybody?
Our group, consisting of nine art students from different art fields like sculpture, media art, drawing or painting, founded an Art Production Company called “Meister und Werke” to find out about nowadays meaning of “art”.
For four weeks we opened our “Flagship Store” in the well known Kunstpavillon in the heart of Munich. We opened a website, arranged our office and presentation room, learned about financing and law and finally opened up our store. On the 6th of November 2014 the big performance started.
With the help of one of Germany’s biggest newspaper, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and some good advertisement, costumers literally overran us. Weeks of producing “art” and receiving more art orders followed. On the 29th of November we finished our performance with a great finissage show, the exhibition and handover of all orders. We left lots of happy and a few dissatisfied art costumers who were all part of our performance. We brought the concept of art orders of previous decades to the present society – Did it work? Or did it fail? Every performer/customer found his and her own answer.
Do Not Disturb
Live Endurance Performance
A bed in a big wall of beds. My private space. My hideout. A basic human need: Sleep. How does it affect my body and mind when I sleep in public. When I change my sleeping rhythm days before so I can sleep during day and be wide awake during the night. Equiped with ear plugs, sleeping pills and sleeping mask I started this ten day experiment.
Live Endurance Performance
Which space is private, which is public? What happens when private space gets public? When there is no more chance to hide? When the Internet – our spy-glass to the world –
becomes the spy-glass to our inner self? What happens when the observer becomes the observed?
In my selfmade Panopticon 2.0 you can watch me, observe me. It’s a box with four cameras inside, which screen the inside of the box on the outside monitors. I am inside. For hours. The box is my selfmade home. Because it doesn’t matter anymore, if I stay in a surveillance box like this or if I am outside in the world. Everybody can watch me at every time. Thank the Internet, thank NSA.
Visually supported Audio work
All friends I’ve had from birth till now are each represented by an instrument and its sound. I can now listen to my life. Some friends are louder, some more quiet, some just stayed for a while and others for a life-time. The graphic supports the sound.