Fracht (Freight)

Jana Eske &

The immobile image on the monitor shows a section of a white, evenly rasterised surface with squares that taper off as they recede into space. An ant enters the picture from the left, walking backwards and dragging a dead bumblebee. Without pausing for even a moment, the insect crosses the screen with his oversized 'freight', immediately exiting again on the right. The image lightens for a moment to a bright white before the sequence repeats.

The relationship of bodies to space is a recurring theme in the video works of Jana Eske. Her images are usually limited to a small section of space, removed from any context, so that she can present her observations using staged scenes or snapshots. She is particularly interested in human beings and the qualities that make them human. Against this background, it is only logical to speak of a 'performance' by the ant: whereas his little show at first inspires admiration for the seemingly supernatural strength of this small slogger, the endlessly repeating loop soon takes on the grotesque character of an indefatigable, but ultimately meaningless and aimless activity. (Simone Jung)

About the video

Title Fracht (Freight)
Year 2003
Videonale VIDEONALE.10
Length 00:00:50
Format 4:3
Country Germany,
Language No dialog
Courtesy the artist
Specifications color, no sound, single-channel video

About the artist

Jana Eske
  • 1978 in Marburg, GER.
    Studied at Bard College (Center for Curatorial Studies), New York, USA, at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung/ZKM, Karlsruhe, GER, and at the Hochschule für Kunst und Design, Helsinki, FIN