The title of the exhibition ‘Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder’ (a city is looking for a murder) is a quote from Fritz Langs’s crime movie ‘M’ from 1931. Also Alex Lebus and Saeed Foroghi are looking for something. They are dealing with identity itself and the question of guilt and finding a way how to make these visible. Together they built up a join-venture installation/performance.
Alex Lebus’s object/installation is made out of two found mirrors. With a special technique she is erasing some parts of the mirror face so that only two letters remain on these two mirrors – ‘M’ and ‘E’, me. A spotlight, shining from the ceiling is producing two shadows of these two letters on the ground, the shadow in the background is showing ‘me’ and the shadow in the foreground is showing ‘we’, due to the change of reflection of the mirror itself. This object/installation is underlined by a sound installation, which can be heard randomly. We hear someone who is whistling. A direct link to Fritz Lang’s movie – the murder used to whistle before he committed his deed. What I really liked about Lebus’s installation was an effect, experienced when you walked very close to the hanging mirrors. At one point you were blinded by the reflecting light from the spot. It felt weird, first I thought, this is how actors feel when the get on stage at theater, but second I also realized that it reminded me of this typical scene, when detectives are blinding you with their desk lamp to set you under stress, to make you feel uncomfortable to get information. Anyway, by this effect I also felt caught somehow.
Saeed Foroghi’s performance consists of two parts. I have to say that I missed the first part of Foroghi’s performance. The following bases on information i gathered from the visitors. In the first part he is shaving his beard in front of a faked mirror. It is one of these mirrors used during interrogation. You can actually look through it from the other side. On this other side a camera is installed, which is permanently uploading pictures to a website, that can be viewed by audience on smartphones. The second part of the performance, that was running through the whole duration of the opening, was him acting like a host, welcoming the visitors at the entrance, wearing white gloves, standing next to a copy machine. There he instructed the visitors and made a copy of their hands. The visitors were free to choose where to put these copies inside the exhibition space. I guess the aim was to produce a kind of archive of the remaining hand-/fingerprints of several individuals.
written by Christian Raetsch
founder of VASISTAS, administrator, project-coordinator | Diploma in Fine Arts, lives and works in Dresden, Germany