Isabell Heimerdinger
Waiting, Acting Waiting, 2002

Isabell Heimerdinger’s central theme is the interpenetration of the cinematographic world and everyday reality, the subtle crossovers between acted and authentic reality, between pose and ‘real’ expression, between role and identity. She has frequently been using strictly analogue techniques such as slide-projectors, Polaroids and 16 mm film. The work Waiting, Acting Waiting is a two-part, 16 mm film installation consisting of two individual projection loops, for which Heimerdinger filmed the Austrian actor Wolfram Berger. Acting on the artist’s instructions, Berger plays himself as an actor waiting for the filming of his scene to begin. This is the first loop. However, Heimerdinger also filmed Berger while he waited for the waiting-scene to be filmed without his knowledge. This is the second loop. In the exhibition context, both loops are shown one after the other without commentary, so that the visitor does not know whether he or she is seeing the ‘acted’ waiting-scene, or the one secretly ‘observed’ and filmed with the camera. The viewer’s expectation of a verifiable content is disrupted. Instead, he or she is drawn into the psychology of self and presentation of self. This allows the artist to leap over the boundaries between person and role – medial ‘appearance’ and reality, surface and significance, individuality and dramatic character merge indistinguishably.

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