Why I never became a painter

shortfilm, HD, sound by Kurt Schlegel, 2017


Highly drawn to the moving image, I always had special interest in video works. During my art studies at Central Saint Martins in London, the ICA featured an exhibition in 2003: Video acts. A fast number of works by the video art pioneers was shown and certainly had a huge impact on my own work as an artist. It has been interesting for me to research their work again today and question its relevance as well as changes to the contemporary video art practices.

While the personal experience of endurance and limits of the own body is less an issue nowadays, the video avantgarde has certainly set a trend ahead by putting themselves in front of the camera, doing something unspectacular and share it with everyone!
‘Performance for the camera’, ‘self promotion’ and ‘storytelling’ are key in today’s social media world, the practice of claiming existing works to collage, sample and reinvent is a sign of our times. Based on these observations, I studied the video art pioneers’ works again and wove it into a new story.


The video, titled ‚Why I never became a painter’, refers to the video art pioneers. In honour of their works, this video consists of several reenactments of well-known scenes, freely adapted and sampled into a story on its own.

A puppet (referring to Tony Oursler’s Video for David Bowie ‘where are we now’) acts as a presenter of the various chapters, recalling ‘Berlin Horse’, ‘Bossy Burger’, ‘Dog Duet’, ‘AAA–AAA’, ‘I’m not the Girl who misses much’ and many others.

The video is accompanied by music, based on the children’s song ‘Alice the Camel’, about a camel with 5 humps, then 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 – the camel turns out to be a horse. Inspired by this song and the current hype of storytelling – as well as very different versions of the same story – and the popular practice of reassembling works, a new story evolved with a probably unexpected ending – or rather – beginning.