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Positivgesellschaft des ständigen Vergleichs

The performance "Positive Society of Constant Comparison" is a collaborative project by Katharina Kawalle and Olivier Hölzl, resulting in a two-hour video. The term "Positive Society" is derived from Byung Chul Han's book "In the Swarm of the Digital," essentially describing a society defined solely by the positive and rejecting anything negative, particularly the concept of death. Katharina performs against a backdrop painted by Olivier Hölzl (10x6m), comprising hundreds of repeated word stencils forming the phrase "Positive Society of Constant Comparison." This backdrop resembles a skyline, a metropolis, or a grand castle facade. Katharina uses the same stencils to paint her clothing, thereby "blurring" herself amid the sea of thousands of words, despite the "strong desire for individualization" (as the act of painting is an individual act), sinking into a kind of meaninglessness or mass. The texts spoken by Katharina, co-written by both artists, aim to illustrate this state. A brief excerpt follows: I long for peace and rush from one perceived urgency to the next. I constantly feel like I'm not accomplishing anything.  Like a junkie, I repeatedly pick up the phone." The texts serve as a mantra, attempting to generalize the state we find ourselves in the "West," reflecting the absence of true self-reflection or self-criticism, being carried away by the illusion of needing to be "something extraordinary." Katharina intentionally avoids addressing societal issues, focusing solely on "herself," her own despair, calculation, etc. Through conjugation, the texts encompass everyone else. During the filming of the performance, only one continuous take was used, emphasizing the importance of preserving the performative character of the work.

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