Montague Von Richthofen
BA Performance: Design and Practice, YourNOVA, 2018
Montague’s project comprises two parts: a five-minute video and an immersive installation. Poetic impressions guide Monty’s multidisciplinary work in the field of performance, focusing on making different canvases such as walls and human skin in the form of graffiti and tattooing.
‘Who Am I Without You / Another You’ provides an insight into Monty Von Richthofen’s past year on the road, and gives the audience a window into a subculture that is unknown to most. The monochrome reduction of the film footage was employed in order to question our perception of what we believe is written in stone – to confront our inherited ideas about culture and convention, in approach and practice. In order to experience any culture, one must make an active effort to acquire their own picture, the work as a piece of documentation only serving as a starting point.
The immersive installation, ‘Follow Me Inside My Head’ invites the spectator to observe the process of nine short statements being tattooed onto nine human canvases. The statements originate from Monty Von Richthofen‘s notebooks, and were chosen by participants of the project. In the post-production process, footage of the previously unrelated statements was stitched together to form a poem which plays on a loop. The spectator is fully immersed by watching the film through the face-hole of a modified tattoo bench, smelling the disinfectant, touching the leather and listening to the sounds created by Florian Kupfer — a similar state of relaxation as experienced by the subjects that were tattooed.
Richthofen explores how his freedom of expression is influenced by different geographic areas, how the body of work changes in contrasting countries such as Israel and Germany. Noting down his observations and thoughts in the form of short poetic statements, he raises questions about the role of himself and others as creative practitioners. What are the boundaries given by any culture or subculture, and how does the creative practitioner respond to them? What impact does political correctness have on freedom of expression? What do we give away from our experiences in the time of the internet and proliferation of images?
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