Außer Sichtweite - ganz nah (Out of Sight – Close Up)

Moira Zoitl &

A town in the middle of a scenic mountain landscape: Salzburg, 1825. Johann Michael Sattler’s (1786-1847) detailed panorama of the town allows the observer to immerse themselves in the Austria of the 19th century.

In her work Außer Sichtweite – ganz nah (Out of Sight – Close Up), Austrian installation and video artist Moira Zoitl transforms sellers of the street newspaper 'Apropros' into elements of the painting. Sellers with varied backgrounds stand motionless before the painting while speaking in a voiceover about their experiences and understanding of work. They talk about the increasing lack of jobs, life as an economic refugee, or the social status of street newspaper vendors. The protagonists are all shown once in the clothing of Sattler’s time and once in contemporary dress. In the process, a series of portraits arise against the backdrop of the Austrian landscape.

The connection between the stories and the individuals – that they all work for 'Apropros' – is visualized at the end of the film in a short tableau vivant. The film seems to be a play of opposites: past and present, the static medium of painting and the moving image, 19th century costumes and contemporary clothing. This opposition is also captured in the title: Out of sight – very close. Some things and some people seem to be out of sight, set apart from the broader populace, and nonetheless very close. Work becomes a timeless theme; whether street newspaper seller or famous artist, in the end only one thing seems to matter: »I feel happy, and that’s surely the most important thing in life«. (Lara Legeland)

About the video

Title Außer Sichtweite - ganz nah (Out of Sight – Close Up)
Year 2015
Videonale VIDEONALE.16
Length 00:20:00
Format 16:9
Country Germany,
Language German with English subtitles
Courtesy the artist
Specifications color, sound, single-channel video

About the artist

Moira Zoitl
  • 1968 in Salzburg, AUT.
    Studied at Hochschule Mozarteum in Salzburg, AUT, Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien, AUT, and Universität der Künste Berlin, GER

Insights at Videonale X

Evening at the museum - why Moira Zoitl turns street paper vendors into protagonists.