Courtesy Loretta Fahrenholz, Ilya Lipkin, Patrick Price

Courtesy Loretta Fahrenholz, Ilya Lipkin, Patrick Price


March 09 – April 29, 2012

Invited by Kathrin Meyer (Curator, Kestnergesellschaft Hannover)

»Careless Talk Lives Costly« (2011)

The video »Careless Talk Lives Costly« picks up a current trend on which the New York Times, amongst others, reported last year: online psychotherapy via Skype. The video opens with an appropriation of a YouTube advertising clip from an institution offering online therapy. This clip, unaware of its own irony, foregrounds the advantages of anonymity and distance–a kind of digital alienation–for patients who are suffering from social anxieties and avoid contact with the outside world. »Careless Talk Lives Costly« depicts the subject of the patient as someone worn out and dejected, an individual whose life consists mainly of switching a variety of electronic devices on and then off again. In his book, »The Weariness of the Self«, the sociologist, Alain Ehrenberg, describes depression as the illness of people who are confronted by too many choices: people who constantly have to perform to expectation and, above all, to fulfill themselves.
In the video, the young person seeking therapy embodies the stereotype of one belonging to a creative occupation: he wears horn-rimmed glasses, »cool« clothing and he has an abstract painting hanging over his sofa. We can see the protagonist, distorted by the Skype transmission, as he weeps while recounting a nightmare in which a large, yellow and incessantly smiling face appears, the expression of which never changes. Various comments uttered by the central character celebrate the characteristic of flexibility and confirm how social instability is processed through artworks. The video caricatures the tendency to capitalize on the hope of a simple relief of symptoms that stem from a broader, and far more complex, social problematic. Furthermore, »Careless Talk Lives Costly« sends the art world to the couch and parodies its narcissistic suffering and egomaniacal tendencies.

B&H are Loretta Fahrenholz, Ilya Lipkin and Patrick Price. Loretta Fahrenholz (*1981 in Starnberg, lives in Berlin and New York) is a filmmaker. Ilya Lipkin (*1983 in Riga, lives in Berlin) is a writer and an artist who works in a variety of media in order to reflect on current questions surrounding labor, value, artistic production, authorship and representation. Patrick Price (*1983 in London, lives in New York) is a painter.

Text: Kathrin Meyer