Film (48:30 min.)
Since spring 2020, more and more people with different political backgrounds have been demonstrating every week in many German cities against the official sanctions to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The Corona Rebels, for example, consider themselves defenders of civil liberty and reject masks and compulsory vaccinations. Instead, they trust in the healing powers of nature and alternative medicine. As a form of protest they use meditation, which they see as an alternative to escalation.
What does concern for oneself, freedom and social responsibility mean to them? What unites them, what drives them, how do they organise themselves? Who are they allying themselves with? How democratic are they, what kind of political system do they want? And what role do QAnon and the “Reichsbürger” movement play?
Volker Renner, the collector and recycler of found photographs, has tapped a new source: the website Faces of the Riot, which went online within weeks after the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. It gathers a large number of the faces of people who presumably participated in the assault on democracy. What makes the material explosive is that it comes from the alleged perpetrators themselves. It was they who uploaded their private shots to sites like the social media platform Parler, bragging about their acts before a like-minded audience. Far from serving as a gallery of profiles in courage, however, Faces of the Riot is effectively a contemporary version of the medieval pillory. In the tradition of the Wild West’s “Most Wanted” posters, the site has helped the FBI elicit information on suspects. The hunters find themselves hunted. Yet this practice also raises questions of legality and concerns about surveillance by algorithms. In potential sightings, Volker Renner condenses the more than 5,000 Faces of the Riot into a portrait of horror and outrage.
Text : Stephanie Bunk
Following the screening, we cordially invite you to a discussion with the two artists. The discussion will be moderated by Nora Sdun (publisher, Textem Verlag) and Tobias Peper (KVHBF).
Zauri Matikashvili (lives in Münster) asks in his films and performances what identities mean, how narratives and images create community, and how societies function in detail - or not. His artistic approach is variously rooted in film, performance, installation and video art and is characterized by an expanded documentary style. Born and raised in Kvareli, Georgia, Zauri Matikashvili has lived in Germany since September 12, 2003, 9:53 am. From 2014 to 2019 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Münster with Prof. Aernout Mik and at the Academy of Fine Arts Düsseldorf with Prof. Marcel Odenbach. In 2020 he was a master student of Prof. Aernout Mik. His works have been shown so far among others by Hartware MedienKunstVerein Dortmund (HMKV), PACT Zollverein in Essen, Kunsthalle Münster, Kunstverein Gelsenkirchen, Museum Folkwang in Essen and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. At the Skulptur Projekte Münster, he co-designed the Grandtour experience tour in 2017. In 2022 he is a fellow of the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.
Volker Renner (lives and works in Hamburg) began studying visual communication at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg in 2002 after studying applied cultural sciences in Lüneburg. After graduating with distinction in 2007, he studied for two years as a master student with Peter Piller at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. Since then, he has been featured in various solo and group exhibitions. These include among others the Falckenberg Collection, Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2020), Kunstmuseum Bochum (2020), Le Bal (Paris, 2019), Kunsthaus Hamburg (2017), Arthur Boskamp Foundation (2014), and f/stop Festival für Fotografie (Leipzig, 2014). In cooperation with Textem Verlag, Volker Renner has published over twenty artist books since 2007.