looking for the nice ones...

Susanne Winterling &

Susanne Winterling's video looking for the nice ones captures a short scene: several young girls in blue-gray uniforms covered with braiding and medals stand in a room. They are carrying music books and brass instruments. It can be assumed that they are part of a fire brigade orchestra. Their parents surround them and repeatedly block the view of the group for short periods of time. Then the camera is pointed at one of the girls. Blond hair tied back into a ponytail peeks from beneath the forage cap on her head. She looks into the gathering while lost in thought, presses her lips together and smiles in embarassment. For one moment she gazes after a passing figure, then she moves through the crowd with a searching look. The girl in front of her is two heads shorter. She wears her blong hair long. For one short moment she looks in the direction of the camera and screws her mouth into a pout.

In real time, this scene lasted only a few seconds. Yet Susanne Winterling shows them in slow motion so that one short moment seems to be stretched into infinity. Every movement, no matter how incidental, and every nuance of the play of the girls' features can be observed in detail. As if in a daydream, everything takes place very slowly. Some sequences in the events are looped; they repeat in slightly changing intervals. Sometimes the colors start to blur when the image goes out of focus. Although it is an everyday scene, this alienation makes it seem removed and dreamy in a way that is almost like a fairy tale. By changing perception, Susanne Winterling increases the fascinating power of the images and transforms this fleeting occurrence into a visual event.

The short scene is also entirely theatrical. The girl's performance begins the moment the camera is directed at them. Even if the actual concert has not yet begun, they are already showing themselves to the public. How conscious they are of the camera is irrelevant. The girls already know that the gazes of the musicians, parents and friends standing around are resting on them. They present themselves to these gazes and answer them at the same time with their own curious gazes. This game of gazing is the spectacle Susanne Winterling opens up to observation with the slow motion. Traits of social role-playing are unmistakable here: in a kind of initiation ritual the girls step onto the social stage and stand in the public spotlight for the first time. Their uniforms seem like costumes in this setting; their silver buttons, braids and medals acting as eye-catchers. Looking for the nice ones therefore describes the interplay of looking and being looked at as a form of social interaction and simultaneously makes experiencing this state an intense visual event.

About the video

Title looking for the nice ones...
Year 2000
Videonale VIDEONALE.9
Length 00:03:30
Format 16:9
Country Germany,
Language No dialog
Courtesy the artist
Specifications color, no sound, single-channel video, loop

About the artist

Susanne Winterling
  • 1971 in Rehau/Oberfranken, GER.
    Studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg, GER, und der Kunsthochschule Braunschweig, GER