Peter Land, The Staircase, 1998
The Danish artist Peter Land (1966 Aarhus, DK – Copenhagen, DK) works with video, performance, installation, and printmaking. Central to his œuvre is the tragi-comic theme of failure: he researches and caricatures physical malfunctions, exceptional states, and deficiencies, the struggles of daily life as well as human borderline experiences involving the unconscious and the surreal. In addition to using his own body, the artist also employs absurd, grotesque, and other elements to this end.
The work The Staircase shown in the “Art in the Elevator” series is the first part of a series of videos from the 1990s in which Peter Land primarily presents scenarios where the protagonist’s actions repeat themselves in a Sisyphus-like manner. In slow motion, the video shows a man falling down a seemingly endless staircase. By replaying the footage at a slower speed Land painfully lengthens the moment of the fall, while further underscoring it through the oddly wonky and cheerless-sounding funfair music accompanying the scene. Similar to the characters of a Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin, the man in Land’s video supposedly loses control of himself and the world around him.
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Curator: Tina Teufel