Alexander Brandt

Capitalism with German Characteristics (2009, 8 short speech reels, Chinese subtitles, TV sets, computer, loudspeakers, podium, German flags)

This work is a video installation composed of a podium and two TV walls. The podium, complete with microphones and a series of German flags behind, resembles those that politicians use to make important announcements. The screens stacked on both sides successively display a number of TV-style broadcasts showing a frantic German speechmaker announcing important policy changes:

Under the pressure of the worldwide financial crisis and the effects of globalization – Germany has decided to change course and follow a new political route, called "capitalism with German characteristics".
All in all, Germany is undergoing a rapid transformation towards communism while maintaining the appearance of a capitalist society. In detail, the subtitles are a reversed imitation of a speech given by Deng Xiao Ping when he engaged in the precarious balancing-act of transforming China into a capitalist economy while maintaining communist rule.

The speechmaker (the artist himself) is bearing a Lenin-style beard, outdated black-framed glasses and a huge German tie, his behavior is pathetic and the words he pronounces aren't actually German but gibberish. Rather than trying to suggest that this event is reality, the all-over tone of the installation is ludicrous and absurd, pushing the viewer to contemplate the apparent analogies in Chinese politics...
Related Exhibitions:
2009 Bourgeoisified Proletariat, Shanghai