WAVER AT GALLERY KUB LEIPZIG • PREVIEW EXCERPT
2 CHANNEL VIDEO INSTALLATION
RESP. 90:00 MIN.
Hikikomori are reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement. Since the beginning of the 21st century, this phenomenon, initially found only in Japan, has been rapidly expanding in the rest of Asia and in many western countries. Hikikomori have been described as loners or "modern-day hermits”.
In this installation, created in the exhibition spaces of the ethnographic museum in Leipzig, the characteristics that distinguish the Hikikomori phenomenon—the rebellion against the cultural apparatus, the replacement of direct social relations by those mediated by the internet, and the resistance against the pressure to achieve personal success—are recoded to give life to the imaginary post-hermetic movement.
Through fake live-broadcasting videos, two representatives of this imaginary group are presented in the museum. They communicate with the public by means of instant message. The two figures introduce the history and narrative of the movement and its founder, illustrate the conventions and customs of the group, give information about their personal experience and about the motivations that led them to a life in complete isolation.
“The fictitious history of the ‘post-eremitic movement’ questions the situation of today's technological societies: are we experiencing the alienation of the individual from direct social relationships, the transition from empathy to technology, paired with the unquestionable, in view of the virtual realm, increasingly paradoxical necessity of the physical appearance?
The “post-ermitism" movement presupposes the polemical rejection of any form of mysticism and spirituality and asserts the victory of central concepts against their opposites: the appearance against transcendence; affirmation against reasoning; egocentrism against introspection; technology against nature. The monologues of the protagonists revolve around these questions and at the same time address the observers.” (Benjamin Meyer Krahmer, 2015)