Susanne Husse: Mind the gap

The components of reality appear in Petra Lottje’s works like variables in the human coordinate system. The artist dissects the corpus of daily routine, reminiscent of a chemist, who dissociates elements from their bonds in order to study their characteristics. At this juncture, video art serves the purpose of a subjective experimental kit to research on questions of the composition of communication, the origination of meaning, the effect of pictures and the antagonism of individuality and commonplaces. Language plays an important role as point of departure in most of Petra Lottje’s videos. In „Episoden“ (2009), „Loope“ (2009), „Time is the killer“ (2008) and „O.T.“, she combines sound sequences from different movies, accords them a somatic expres- sion and relocates them into new contexts. Through this reduced, but in no way neu- tral mimic expression of her figures, Lottje succeeds in constructing a gap between the emphatic language from the movies and their alleged authors. Armed with a subtle irony, Lottje approaches these parti- ally ambiguous utterances and grotesque situations in their entanglement and quest for understanding. By absorbing the whole spectrum of mostly contradictory voices which cinema yields, like love or identity, the protagonists become emblems of general human sentiments but also media- conditioned (self-) perception. Today, each person is a protagonist of his/her own movie, however to what extent is this movie actually innate? And how much are we ourselves media-collective stereotypes?
We do not find answers in Petra Lottje’s works… as they treat those issues that lie in between. They reveal the ‘perhaps’ inexpressible rest of inter-personal communication. In order to address these issues, the artist uses the method of isola- tion and displacement of the single com- ponents – language, picture and carnal expression, so as to unhinge the ultimate from them. She stretches this process until the point where the re-composition of the components becomes the gap, the incongruence between two elements. The space of impossibility of expression or of failure in communication or understanding develops here. However, this space does not describe a ‘black hole’! It rather has the potential of becoming the new point of departure for understanding… as it favours the unfolding of the place and moment in the cosmos of the beholder for his/her own unique perception.
© Susanne Husse, 2010

Englisch: Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung