Date: October 2 - 31, 1993.
Location: Video In front windows, 1965 Main St., Vancouver
Artists: Matias Grieck, Akiko Hada, Gavin Hodge, Kaori Koyasu
Curator: Elspeth Sage
Producer: ON EDGE
Auslander Video (auslander = outsider in German), presented a film and video installation of work by 4 non-German artists permanently resident in Berlin. Recent social and political events throughout Germany have intensified the alienation and outright hostility felt for non-German inhabitants simply due to their presence in the once monocultural state. The resentment is also being played out within the art world, where there is a right-wing backlash to any gains made by multiculturalism. The intention was to focus on the work of outsiders living in the context of a renewed German nationalism and to showcase work that, although not overtly oppositional, presented art practises post-unification and not necessarily from a German viewpoint.
It was also intended as a reality check that the kind of intolerance and shifting away from equity gains prevalent in Germany could happen in Canada. The absence of pluralism in German society, and certainly the Berlin art community, that even today is largely white and male, makes that society anathema from a Canadian viewpoint. Yet the seeds of discontentment, such as unemployment and recession that have contributed to the renewed xenophobia in Germany, are here also. In striving to understand the international swing to the right, politically and intellectually, it was tempting to use a German model.
Among Berlin's German artists there is a remarkable absence of any need to comment on the troubling social times. Foreign artists conversely are acutely conscious of the issues and invariably include mention of it in their work. This exhibition presented the work of outsiders as a legitimate presence, questioned their arbitrary exclusion based on nationality, and highlighted the important contributions that they make to their chosen society. Putting together an exhibition of contemporary film and video from Berlin without including any Germans was meant to be and was perceived as a provocative act. The exclusion here was important.
AUSLANDER VIDEO presented film and video works by 4 artists: Matias Grieck (Argentinean), Akiko Hada (Japanese), Gavin Hodge (British), Kaori Koyasu (Japanese), 2 women, 2 men. The format was a month-long video installation in the storefront windows of the Video In's new location at 1965 Main St., Vancouver. The exhibition opened on October 2, 1993 - the 3rd anniversary of German unification. (Funded by The Canada Council Exhibition Assistance Program and the Public Gaming Branch of B.C. Co-sponsored by the Video In.)