In his video, Martin Skauen shows the life and creative activities of Johnny, a fictional artist. In six episodes an unkempt young man appears and presents his scurrilous works in various ways – as a slide show, an appearance on stage, a philosophical writing session in a toilet, or a pseudoscientific experiment. Images and words appear in unusual combinations and strongly influence the public’s perception and reaction. The use of canned laughter, reminiscent of a sitcom, turns the viewers into part of a fictional audience and encourages them to become involved in what is taking place. As the episodes unfold, the viewer witnesses a gradual change in the relationship between the artist and his public. With the addition of material from other sources, the original situation develops from a small scale performance to an esoteric spectacular with an almost worshipful horde of spectators.
The content and point of reference of the video refer to current trends and media appearances of our time and prompt us to think about the impact of the media nowadays. The variability of people’s cheerfulness and the unpredictable logic of the masses is held against the artist’s attempts, now helpless, now exalted, to meet the tastes of the masses. (Jacqueline Knöll)