Anna Witt
Artist Statement
The video project Care is about two geriatric nurses in Japan. A group of amateur dancers developed a piece of choreography based on the work routines and experiences of two young Indonesian nurses working in dementia care. The dancers, influenced by Butoh and improvisational dance, were in some cases already around eighty themselves. They performed their personal interpretation of the care work as an intervention in the public space of the Maebashi city center, which is feeling the effects of an aging and shrinking population. On a textual level, the nurses explain what motivated them to leave Indonesia and look for work abroad. We learn of a massively aging society in which the care of the elderly—a task traditionally performed by daughters and daughters-in-law—is not a topic of public discussion. The problem and those involved in it do not receive any attention or recognition. The dancers in the video Care interpret the personal experiences and movements of the Indonesian nurses, whose existence in society remains largely invisible. Closeness, physical contact, self-surrender, allowing oneself to be carried, empowerment, and disempowerment are important themes of interpersonal relations, which always concern the dignity of the individual and are thus politically charged.
The video is dealing with an urgent and very timely topic in Japan and around the world. Especially the questions about an aging society and the role of social labor in society have to be redefined.
Artist Bio
Anna Witt lives and works in Vienna. In the last few years, she took part in numerous exhibitions in Austria and internationally. Her work had been shown at Aichi Triennale 19; Museum Bern; Secession Vienna; 1st Vienna Biennale at MAK; Gallery of Contemporary Art Leipzig; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Austrian Cultural Forum New York and at MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, among others and she had solo exhibitions at Museum Belvedere, Vienna; Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, and Gallery Tanja Wagner, Berlin, at Marabourparken Museum Stockholm and Center for Contemporary Art, Prishtina, Kosovo. She took part in Emscherkunst Biennale, 13; Lux/ICA Biennial of Moving Images, London; 6. Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art and Manifesta 7 in North Italy and is the winner of Otto Mauer Prize 2018; the Art Prize ‘Future of Europe’ in 2015; BC21 Art Award in 2013 and Art Prize Columbus Art Foundation in 2008.