ONA SZUKA JEGO / SIE SUCHT IHN (HER SEEKING HIM) • German Version
2-channel-sound: German + Polish
The meeting of Poles and Germans as neighbors today happens on various levels. For some time now professional partner search websites promise to connect marriage-seeking Polish women and German men. On these publicly accessible websites Polish women present themselves with self-chosen photographic portraits while the German men - interestingly enough - remain invisible.
In these contact ads, the women reduce themselves to one picture - one single photograph - which is supposed to tell the potential partner as much as possible about their person. Because of this, these portraits are extremely emotionally, culturally, socially and politically charged. Primarily they tell about the wish for closeness, love, security and a fitting partner, furthermore they present the lifestyle, taste, preferences, ambitions, ideals, self-perception, social afilliation, level of education, personal history and not least importantly the bodies of these women.
Considering the historical background of the often difficult German-Polish neighborship these contact images reveal a fascinating new meeting and approximation of cultures. Who are these women? How do they see themselves? How do they want to be seen? How do they see us? What do we see in them about us?
This video shows around 350 female portraits, which are presented in groups of common photographic cliches, such as "women with dogs", "women with cars", "women by the sea" etc. The soundtrack is a monologue about the German ideal partner, which is constructed out of the Polish women's wishful descriptions. Two female computer voices speak this text in Polish and German.
This video was made for the exhibition: "GUTE NACHBARSCHAFT? Deutsche Motive in polnischer Gegenwartskunst / Polnische Motive in deutscher Gegenwartskunst", Gdanska Galeria Miejska (2010) & Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2011)