ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, 09|17|2011 – 02|05|2012
Erik Bünger

* 1976 in Växjö (SE), lives and works in Berlin (DE)

The Allens, 2004

In his lecture performances, videos, and installations, Swedish artist Erik Bünger examines the use of music and language in sound and image productions of popular culture, and makes their manipulating and myth-building mechanisms visible by recontextualizing and commenting on found footage from diverse sources.
With the video work The Allens, Bünger also dedicates himself to the interaction of language, speaking, and voice in film, as well as its influence on figures and narratives. When Bünger watched a synchronized film for the first time in Germany, he was slightly perturbed by the peculiarly inapposite voices, which, for him, completely altered the contents of the film. “To my unaccustomed ears this gave a ghostly kind of sensation, as if Robert De Niro had been possessed by a German spirit. And I started to wonder about these guys who sell their voices for money.” It seemed to him as if, through this technology, not only was the specific quality of the language, and thus the cultural location of the films lost, but that the characters shrunk as a result.
Pointing to the example of Woody Allen, whose character is defined especially through his specific use of language, Bünger laid bare the inner tension of the character resulting from his multilingual speaker personalities. At the same time, Bünger creates an incisive picture of the current, schizophrenic state of culture – something which becomes especially perceptible in the international context of art, whereby a flexible approach to mutually contradictory cultural realities, as well as to a playful adaption of the most diverse roles, is something especially sought after. (AM)


The Allens
, 2004