Adventures in Your Own Backyard
As for many others, Karl May was my first encounter with the myths of the Western genre and the “Wild West“. The “Wild West” is much more than historical facts. From the beginning, the embellishment of history was a major part in the mythmaking of the Wild West. Authors and writers inflated the deeds of Buffolo Bill, Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid and many others in dime novels and newspaper articels.
Through countless books, films, comic books, songs and last but not least art, the mythology of the Wild West has become part of our pop culture of the 20th century. Film and photography play a main role in our visual imagination.
In the series „Adventures in Your Own Backyard“ I stage myself as different characters of the western genre. As a Cowboy, Native American and Mountain Man.
The connections to questions and procedures, which determine the current art production, are crucial for me and reflected in my image of the Wild West as a yearning place for freedom and self-determination.
New narratives and pictures emerge. The Wild West survives as mythology, because it is constantly staged aesthetically and thus offers space for interpretations from different perspectives.
Within the work I use different image strategies. In the collages, I combine filmstills from US Westerns of the 30s to 70s with my own photographs i took in Siberia. In three pictures I stage myself as a cowboy, Native American and Mountain Man. The costumes are featured in another series of shots, such as artifacts against a red and neutral background. Another series within the work refers to the gestures and facial expressions of the Western and is characterized by the film language of the Italo westerns of Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci.
Through my work, I intend to liberate the Western from its historical nexus and stage it in different geographic and historical contexts. The visual and mythological idea is preserved, but it reappers in completely new contexts.