"[...] craving for narrative" lässt sich einfach nicht gut übersetzen

Max Grau &

We see a well-known scene from the film Grease (Randal Kleiser, 1978) featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the lead roles. The same 23-second sequence is shown over and over on an endless loop. The dancing, and above all the catchy melody, are repeated again and again: we are trapped in a loop.

We are greeted by the word »hello« which fades in over the video in black writing. While we are still trying to make sense of the strange situation, text continues to appear on the screen, analyzing the loop. It tells us of the artist’s fascination with the scene in question, which has given way to an obsession. A further window fades in featuring Youtube clips, Wikipedia entries and other visual elements which point to unnoticed details hidden in the loop. They complement the written word and open up a further level of interpretation. This is made possible by the desktop-like virtual space created by the video.

According to Max Grau, the footage from Grease is the point of departure for an escalating story in which personal and anecdotal themes from his private realm of thoughts are mixed with theoretical questions. Whether we follow the tempo of the narration, devoting our attention to the anecdotes which constantly leap between themes from pop culture, nostalgia and the internet phenomenon, or whether we remain caught up in the ›loopyness‹ of the loop is down to us to decide. As engaged subjects of the narration, we are always so close to the on-screen events that a feeling of intimacy arises. Which is absurd, when you think about it: all we have to go on is some text, no face and no voice (except, of course, for Travolta’s singing). (Eva Laumen-Joeres)

About the video

Title "[...] craving for narrative" lässt sich einfach nicht gut übersetzen
Year 2015
Videonale VIDEONALE.16
Length 00:23:48
Format 16:9
Country Germany,
Language English
Courtesy the artist
Specifications color, sound, single-channel video

About the artist

Max Grau
  • 1988 in Herrenberg, GER.
    Studied at Kunsthochschule Weißensee Berlin, GER, at Art Center College Pasadena in Los Angeles, USA, and at Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar in Saarbrücken, GER