Food only exists on pictures
Marlene Maier
Artist Statement
How do people disappear in an age of over-visibility? Following this question the experimental 3-channel-video installation “Food only exists on pictures” traces the stories of three characters, all of which act on the edges of the visible and the invisible, even though their lives are determined by images: a software engineer, who evaluates and categorizes images to teach an algorithm how to see the world, a character who seeks to withdraw from the “real” into a virtual world, loosely inspired by the Japanese phenomenon “Hikikomori”, as well as an employee in a low-income country, editing images for photographers from the West. The project explores how the individual positions itself in relation to technology, virtual reality and its narrative structures and how this gives rise to new forms of identity, self-expression, imaginative spaces and spaces of interaction. To contradict traditional ways of documentary storytelling, the videos are composed of diverse footage material.
It emerged from my research on visual and digital culture during my studies in Japan, which lead to exploring the relation of technology, identity and image culture and further reflect the phenomenon of social withdrawal among Japanese youth (“Hikikomori”). The social isolation resulting from the current pandemic sheds another light on this, as the physical withdrawal of bodies became mandatory and life shifted to the virtual in an even greater degree. I am curious to explore how this is confronted within Japanese digital culture and how human interaction, identity and self-expression are once again reimagined with the means of technology.
Artist Bio
I am a Vienna-based artist working with video, film and text. I studied at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Kyoto University of Art and Design and participated in shows and screenings internationally, such as Hysterical Mining – Kunsthalle Wien AT, IMPAKT Festival (NL), Diagonale Filmfestival (AT), Crossing Europe Filmfestival (AT), Everything a Hand Can’t Take – Kunsthalle Wien (AT), Fünfzigzwanzig Salzburg (AT), 34. Kasseler Dokfest (DE) and Expérience Kyoto – Institut français du Japon Kansai (JP). Awards: Preis der Kunsthalle Wien as well as Start Scholarship and the Atelier Scholarship Tokyo by the Federal Chancellery of Austria.