Alles bestens – Videolieder (Everything’s Just Fine – Video Songs)

Herbert Wentscher &

„Die vorbehaltlose Fröhlichkeit dieser bunten Liedchen entpuppt sich durch ihre Penetranz tatsächlich sehr bald als satirischer Kommentar einer optimistischen und fortschrittsgläubigen Lebenshaltung, die im Nachkriegsdeutschland der fünfziger Jahre ihren Ausgang nahm.“ [»These colourful little songs ring a joyfulness that is so obviously exaggerated that they reveal themselves as a satirical comment on an optimistic attitude and a naive belief in progress that developed in the post-war Germany of the fifties.«] H. Wentscher in his introduction to the video songs, held in the style of the 'Wort zum Sonntag'.

Satire is often a means of social and societal criticism; the songs take up this satire in form, but are at the same time its caricature. Clichés of social criticism such as 'Modernes Leben' in a lack of communication are combined with standard examples of bourgeois idyll such as 'Tannenbaum' or 'Schwarzwald' and prototypes for the 1950s such as 'Schnappschuß' and 'Strand' and presented in indiscriminate penetrating cheerfulness. The lyrics of the songs composed by Wentscher himself leave no banal rhyme unused. However, the variety of technical and creative possibilities does not allow for boredom: Rich photo material from the 50s (Schnappschuß) - self-shot Super 8 material, partly with electronic post-processing (Waschmaschine) - , 'Schwarzwald' with English subtitles - Wentscher himself as protagonist (Telefon) - , a whole collection of television models (Fernsehen) or even pure electronics as in 'Tannenbaum'. The simple silhouette of the tree, as well as the recurring pictograms, which in 'Disco' are even varied into a cartoon sequence, reveal a proximity - if not aesthetic, then at least in terms of content - between the video songs and Wentscher's painting. (Dieter Daniels, description of the work from the VIDEONALE.1 catalogue)

About the video

Title Alles bestens – Videolieder (Everything’s Just Fine – Video Songs)
Year 1982
Videonale VIDEONALE.1
Length 00:30:00
Format 4:3
Country Germany,
Language German
Courtesy the artist
Specifications color, sound, single-channel video
Winner of Videonale Award

About the artist

Herbert Wentscher
  • 1951 in Oldenburg, GER.
    Studied at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design, GER, and the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, GER, and the universities in Stuttgart, GER, and Cologne, GER