In dieser großen Zeit

In dieser grossen Zeit


looped video projection, 10 minutes

This video consists of a selection of fragments taken from two texts by the iconoclastic Austrian writer Karl Kraus: In dieser grossen Zeit (In these great times, 1914), Man frage nicht (Don’t ask why, 1933), read by the ventriloquist Alpar Fendo. Karl Krauss wrote these texts for his periodical Die Fackel (The Torch). They address his decision to respond to historic events (the start of WWI, Hitler’s rise to power) by a period of silence, during which he stopped publishing his writings. Yet it was a silence that he, on both occasions, felt the need to break in order to “preserve it from misinterpretation.” The ventriloquist makes the paradox of this gesture visible, by speaking Krauss’s words without moving his lips. In keeping with Krauss’s own way of working, this is a collage of citations. In the video, each cut in the original text was marked by an edit and change of camera angle in the video. A live performance of this work was also staged at the GAK Kunstverein in Bremen in 2011.


Julien Bismuth – In dieser großen Zeit (2011) from Julien Bismuth on Vimeo.