Yvon Chabrowski   
Territory - view 1, 2016, two channel video installation, HD loop

Born in East Berlin
Lives and works in Leipzig and Berlin (Germany)

In her work, the artist Yvon Chabrowski explores in a diverse fashion the function and impact of media images. Her video works and installations are often created in collaboration with performers. In 2013, for example, she staged and filmed in a neutral space re-enactments of photographs of Arab Spring protests that were widely distributed on the Internet. The performers formed a kind of modern “tableau vivant”. Our gaze focuses on the structure of the images, which have been freed from their political context, reduced to gestures and postures. The two-part floor projection Territory can be seen in this context, but it also assumes a completely independent form. It is not based on any medial pre-image, yet it is able to trigger diverse and extremely present associations. Numerous people dressed in grey can be seen lying on the ground, intertwined. Silently and densely pressed together, they move alongside and on top of one another. The initially peaceful coexistence becomes increasingly disturbed, each participant appears to want to lay claim to their place. More and more people are pushing into the visual field, claiming more space and thus figuratively their own territory.

Territory creates an image that leaves a lasting impression on the visitor. The question arises as to how and under what conditions a successful coexistence can be organized not only as individuals but also as communities. For only in the to-and-fro, the with- and against-each-other, in the exploration of closeness and distance can one really find oneself. This work is therefore not a naive symbol of peaceful coexistence. It evokes both exclusion and empathy as two mutually dependent, existential experiences. It is a floor projection and as such you are in a sense in the middle of the picture, emotionally involved and not just an outside observer. Reflection on media, as conceived by Yvon Chabrowski, thereby becomes a special form of aesthetic experience that not only gives rise to theoretical or media-sociological considerations, but also opens up emotional approaches.

Text: Ingo Clauß