Katharina Swoboda / RGB


26.10. – 17.11. 2016 (Extended till 24.11.2016)

Katharina Swoboda / RGB


The exhibition shows the RGB series: three videos that are based on the primary colours of the digital spectrum. Different narratives about female characters are built up around Red (passion), Blue (“Sehnsucht”, longing) and Green (hope).

RGB is a collaborative project with performer Annika Scharm and sound designer Sara Pinheiro, realized between 2015 – 16.  In this work, the primary colours of the digital spectrum were, associated with emotions . “Pelzvogelkasten” is the first video from the series, it starts from the red colour in the middle of the same-named object. Red stands for energy and passion. The video is about the act of video making and the energy that flows into producing art. The performer Annika Scharm incorporated the “Pelzvogelkasten” as well as the artist URSULA, who made the object in 1968. “Shasta” deals with longing (“Sehnsucht”) and the place, an absent person or thing, can occupy in the mind. The video is dominated by the colour blue. The character in that video is “Shasta”, a fictional character from Thomas Pynchon´s novel “Inherent Vice”. The last piece, is an excerpt from the latest piece called “Marguerite” –  is all about Green and it´s meaning of hope.

video / hd / 5 min / colour / sound / 2015
camera – Leopold Leskovar

Pelzvogelkasten [translated “fur-bird-box”] is originally an object created by Ursula Schultze-Bluhm, which she made in the iconic year of 1968.
It consists of what it is named after: a sewing box, which is covered with fur and feathers with a dead pheasant on the top. The single boxes are filled with materials such as beads, maize-cobs and little puppets. These concrete materials define the production of my video material, in which performer Annika Scharm is relating to the Pelzvogelkasten.
Annika Scharm is incorporating the object as well as the artist of the Pelzvogelkasten object, Ursula.  She is a character born out of the relationship between the spectator, the video maker, the art object and the artist.

video installation / hd / 9:30min / colour / sound / 2016

SHASTA is a video work about the fictional character „Shasta“ from Thomas Pynchon´s novel „Inherent Vice“ from 2009.  Shasta is the ex-girlfriend of the protagonist Larry „Doc“ Sportello. Although Shasta is „absent“ during long periods of the book, she is very present in Doc´s thoughts: There are his memories and exchanges with other people about Shasta. There are objects in Doc´s experience, like a post card, which Shasta sent from a tropical island and which text is cited in my video.  What could Shasta have done during her absence in the story? The book suggests, that Shasta was on board of the „Golden Fang“. It is a big, very bad ship from a drug cartel. Isn´t the boat the symbol for yearning? And – isn´t yearning for somebody the biggest motivation? In my work I identify myself and my position as a video maker with Doc´s motivation to find somebody or something. And Shasta becomes the elusive „McGuffin“ and at the same time a projection (screen) in my own work.

video / hd / colour / sound /

Marguerite is the last piece of the “RGB” series and deals with the colour „green“. It is an experimental video work about the French actress, writer and feminist Marguerite Durand (1864-1936). The piece shown at the exhibition is an excerpt that focuses on a text by Derek Jarman about the colour “Green”. In his book “Chroma: A Book of Color“, Jarman discusses different colors and shades in a subjective way. The video excerpt shows the character Marguerite while the preparing a picnic blanket in a Parisian park. She does that with of fabric of “green screen”, used for Chroma Keying technologies in the studios.  The subtitles follow the rhythm of narrated text in the second part of the video.

Curator: Carola Zechner [D]








Interview with the author:


Project was supported by The City of Brno