The video installation "Wutbürger" deals with the personal anger and individual failure of a German man.

Wutbürger
Video installation

In Germany, “Wutbürger” are people who share a common feeling of disappointment about politics and who manifests anger through public demonstrations. The anger of these people mostly is directed to a collective target.
But what about the singular “Wutbürger”? The individual anger and disappointment of an individual? The individual anger and disappointment of any of us? What if one´s life is ruled by the feelings of frustration and powerlessness? What happens when a single man suddenly directs all this anger at himself?

The protagonist Stefan W. (an “Everyman”) lives through different stages of his life in retrospective, which finally casts him to a hostile present, that becomes a prison with no way back. In a custom-built wooden box, a five-hour performance was first recorded and then exhibited in exactly this box (rear projection) again. During a guerilla intervention tour through Germany (“Isolation episode”), the box was placed in front of typical locations carrying a collective “Wutbürger potential” (Nuclear power plants, European Central Bank, Mass surveillance facilities) but also containing elements of personal anger like hedonism, boring suburbs, neglect.

Scenes from the five hour performance, divided into 13 acts
Scenes from the five hour performance, divided into 13 acts

Act I — Time off / Auszeit, 0’00 > 0’20
Act II — Martina / Martina, 0’20 > 0’37
Act III — Mother / Mutter, 0’37 > 0’50
Act IV — School / Schule, 0’50 > 1’18
Act V — Teenage years / Adoleszenz, 1’18 > 1’41
Act VI — Military service / Bundeswehr, 1’41 > 2’17
Act VII — Love / Liebe, 2’17 > 2’44

Act VIII — Everyday / Alltag, 2’44 > 3’00
Act IX — Collapse / Zusammenbruch, 3’00 > 3’25
Act X — Reckoning / Abrechnung, 3’25 > 3’43
Act XI — Retreat / Rückzug, 3’43 > 4’02
Act XII — Accusation / Anklage, 4’02 > 4’19
Act XIII — Salvation / Erlösung, 4’19 > 4’54

In preparation for the live performance and during the 13 acts of the play, a fictional diary of Stefan W. (Moleskine, 192 pages) was authored and pictured by the actor.

Isolation episode

For the “Isolation episode”, the box was exposed against 13 different objects and situations throughout Germany to analyze the dialectic of the word “Wutbürger” again. First, the box was placed as a substitution in front of typical places with collective “Wutbürger potential” (Nuclear power plants, European Central Bank, Mass surveillance facilities) but also personal anger fields (hedonism, boring suburbs, neglect) and acted as a demonstrating and protesting surrogate for everybody. At the same time parts of the 13 acts performed live in the box and the objective anger and the personal anger of Stefan W. were mixed together and put in relation.

The 13 isolation episodes took place in Nürnberg (Act V), München (Act I), Randolfsee (Act XI), Leipzig (Act X), Frankfurt (Act VII), Grafenrheinfeld (Act VI), Halle (Act IX), Berlin (Act XIII), Hoher Bogen (Act IV), Bayerischer Wald (Act III), Oranienburg (Act XII) and Sektor F (Act II).

grafenrheinfeld
halle
oranienburg
bayerischerwald

Confrontation episode

For the “Confrontation episode”, the recorded performance is presented as a video installation in the box again. This episode started in November 2014 and is realized continuously in collaboration with Biennials and other exhibition venues.

wutbuerger_nact
wutbuerger-kobe
wutbuerger-kobe-out
wutbuerger-sweden

“The work somewhat reminds me of the famous feminist slogan ‘the personal is political’ in an absolutely contemporary way.”
Excerpt from the catalogue preface by Morihiro Satow, Professor at Kyoto Seika University, Japan, 2016

“The fundamental anthropological Wutbürger shown here, as a domesticated imitation of Klaus Kinski, can be understood as the origin of the political system.”
From the essay “Der Wutbürger — Hybrid art or what?” by Dr. Frauke Nowak, Berlin, Germany, 2014

Credits
Concept — Christoph Grünberger, Andreas Lutz
Cast — Andreas Genschmar
Video — Dominic Gambert, Florian Renner
Assistant — Sonja Jehle

Published
September 2014

Exhibitions
2016 — Nuit Blanche, Brussels, Belgium
2016 — National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan
2015 — OpenArt Biennale, Örebro, Sweden
2015 — Currents New Media Festival, Santa Fe, NM, USA
2015 — Kobe Biennale, Kobe, Japan
2015 — Celeste Exbazzi, Milano, Italy
2015 — Pinnacles Gallery, Townsville, QLD, Australia
2014 — PFF 6th London Art Festival, London, UK

Publications
Wutbürger — German Rage in Thirteen Acts, DISTANZ Verlag, Berlin, Germany
19th JMAF Catalogue, Computer Graphic Arts Society, Tokyo, Japan

Awards
2016 — Excellence Award 19th Japan Media Arts Festival
2015 — Premio Celeste Art Prize