Heuschrecken (1969)

Heuschrecken is the first real video installation made by Wolf Vostell .
Two photos confront each other on a large screen: on the left, a lesbian couple making love, on the right a newspaper photo of Russian tanks rolling into Prague. The two topical subjects are juxtaposed as antitheses. Arranged above the photos are signs from a meteorological chart of the USA, below them a row of 20 monitors that show the face of any entering visitors who happens to fall within the video camera's field of view. On the floor is tar with residues of hair, shoes, bones.

Vostell's works were always critical of society. He tried to detach himself from the stigma of the artist as the suffering individual. As he considered art and life to be equal, he thought artists had to take joint responsibility for history.
His starting-paint was his theory of De-coll/age, which stands for an omnipresent process of decomposition and wear. This conception covers all destructive action. In his oeuvre he used destructive techniques and showed objects or concepts torn out of context in a new framework. He wanted to confront his public with fear, destruction and human distress, to achieve a therapeutical effect.

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