fuck the war

Beate Geissler &
Oliver Sann &

The words fuck the war are sprayed in a child´s handwriting on the dirty interior wall of a deserted car dealership. And it is also children who are playing war games there, dressed in camouflage and wielding toy machine guns. The message of the graffiti, which is likewise the title of this video by Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann, hovers between punk defiance and political statement. Should it be understood as a rejection of the way adults do battle when the little boys exchange their machine guns for iron bars, no longer fighting each other but instead smashing up a washing machine? The lust for violence remains the same, and is echoed acoustically by the rhythmic strikes of the metal bars.

Like the eye of the camera, the viewer becomes a passive voyeur following the action, which reels back and forth between fun and aggression. The dawning consciousness of the small step it takes to go from trivial game to deadly reality as it is shown daily in the media leaves a bitter taste in our mouths. Pondering the violent episodes that have constantly recurred throughout world history, the writer and scholar Georg Büchner once posed the disquieting question that is also latent underneath the surface of fuck the war: "What is it in us that lies, murders, steals?"(Cécile Zachlod)

About the video

Title fuck the war
Year 2006
Videonale VIDEONALE.11
Length 00:03:56
Format 16:9
Country Germany,
Language No dialog
Courtesy the artists
Specifications color, sound, single-channel video
Winner of Videonale Award

About the artists

Beate Geissler
  • 1970 in Neuendettelsau, GER.
    Studied at the Fachhochschule Würzburg-Schweinfurt, GER, the Staatlichen Fachakademie für Fotodesign, München, GER, and the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, GER
Oliver Sann
  • 1968 in Düsseldorf, GER.
    Studied at the Staatlichen Fachakademie für Fotodesign, München, GER, and the Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, GER