In her films and drawings Michaela Schweiger takes on the subject of the utopias of the post-war age and their disintegration through political and social developments. Using the example of Le Corbusiers’ Unité d’Habitation,built in 1958 in Berlin, the video Begleiter (companion) focuses on social processes that can be easily observed in the model-like residential architecture. Architecture is not just the exterior skin, but the life that goes on inside it.
The camera circles around installations reminiscent of a backdrop, showing a clichéd setting. It’s floating through time and space accompanied by an off-screen voice. Sometimes, within the installations, assistants drift into view, giving us a documentary insight into the production of the images. They stand in stark contrast to the artificiality of the staged scenes. Partial sequences of the play, which are based on interviews, re-tell the memories and show the way in which female role models of various generations have regarded themselves. In a central scene we witness a heated discussion about production arrangements between two men and a woman; in a clichéd, arbitrary manner the woman is dismissed. By the use of gestures or small actions, throughout the film women are continually casting off their assigned roles, each time with a knowing wink to the viewer. (Georg Elben)
*We can only show an excerpt of this work in the online archive. For the complete version, please contact the artist.