Undine Sommer


Visual Art ︎︎︎

At the Gallery Owner’s


At the Gallery Owner’s revolves around a dinner following an exhibition opening at an Amsterdam art gallery. Against her will, two drunk middle-aged cis-men take photographs of one of the young femme-presenting art students at the table. Using the stop trick technique and ‘freezing’ individual poses, I aim to bring to light the difficulty of shutting down an act of sexualized violence in an environment where this is the norm.
We were invited for a dinner party in the gallery owner’s apartment, just above the gallery, after the opening of the gallery’s exhibition, just above in the gallery owner’s apartment, by the gallery owner. In Amsterdam. On a Saturday.

We sat down at a long table. Six or seven of my classmates and me sat down at the table on one end of the room, the rest of the class at the other end, and in between sat our professor with the gallery owner and maybe ten more formally dressed people from the art world.

Two young chefs, a woman and a man, served four dishes of Japanese cuisine: Miso soup, sushi, something with either tuna fish or tofu, and a sweet dessert I can’t recall.

Two elderly men from the formally dressed art world part of the table sat just next to my end of the table. We were only girls there. Throughout the evening, the two men took pictures here and there until they focused so much on one of my classmates that it couldn’t be considered decent behavior anymore.

It was easy to tell she felt obviously awkward having become their subject for the evening, as she turned to the side trying to cover her face with her hand. By then she was already a little drunk from the expensive white wine served with the meal. Most of us were drunk.

Ten or fifteen minutes had passed. They were still taking pictures when I decided to stop them. I told them to stop it. They didn’t even look up from the camera screen and continued. I got mad and stood up and raised my voice and again told them to stop. It was only then that they noticed me and stopped taking pictures of my friend, but instead they started photographing me as I stood there, my head all red from blood pressure.

One of my classmates told me to calm down and let go. The others went silent. The men continued taking my photos. Then, one understood, and told his friend to stop. He said he was sorry and I accepted. He asked me to take a photo of the two of them together.

I accepted.

video. hd video 16:9. Colour & sound. one channel. english language. 3:26 min. logotorium. headquarters braunschweig. 2012.


Performer & Voice:  Undine Sommer
Director: Undine Sommer
Cinematography: Undine Sommer
Voice Recordist: Ingo Schulz
Editor & Sound Designer: Undine Sommer


Screenings:
2016
Your Skin Makes Me Cry,
Screening, German Culture Center,
Temeswar (RO)

2016
Your Skin Makes Me Cry,
Screening, German Culture Center ,
Hermannstadt (RO)

2015
/si:n/ Festival für Videokunst und Performance,
French German Culture Center,
Ramallah (PO)

2015
Your Skin Makes Me Cry,
Screening, Goethe Institut,
San Francisco (USA)

2015
Your Skin Makes Me Cry,
Screening, Goethe Institut,
Chicago (USA)

2014
Your Skin Makes Me Cry,
Screening, Goethe Institut,
Shanghai (CN) 

Exhibitions:
2015
Your Skin Makes Me Cry,
Exhibition, Goethe Institut,
Bukarest (RO)

2015
Your Skin Makes Me Cry,
Exhibition, Goethe Institut,
Washington (USA)

2015
The Way To Walk On Earth,
Exhibition Nagoya University of Arts (JP)

2015
Your Skin Makes Me Cry,
Exhibition, Goethe Institut,
Johannesburg (ZA)

2015
Your Skin Makes Me Cry,
Exhibition, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts,
Taipei (TW)

2015
New German Video Art,
Exhibition, Alternative Space LOOP,
Seoul (KR)

Other:
2014
Your Skin Makes Me Cry,
Traveling Exhibition and DVD of the Goethe Institut (DE)


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