Foreigners out! Schlingensiefs Container


Foreigners out! Schlingensiefs Container

Foreigners out! Schlingensiefs Container, alternately named "Wien-Aktion", "Please Love Austria—First European Coalition Week", or "Foreigners Out—Artists against Human Rights", is an art project and television show from 2002 that took place within the scope of the annual Wiener Festwochen. It was conceptually designed by Christoph Schlingensief and directed by Paul Poet, and was styled as a mockery of popular TV program format Big Brother. It was critically aimed both at certain forms of television entertainment and at a latent xenophobia still thriving in Western culture, especially in German speaking countries.

Political implications

The show was produced in Austria, and broadcast from the container set installed in Vienna. Shortly before Schlingensief came up with this project, the Freedom Party of Austria, under the leadership of Jörg Haider had been elected into the National Council of Austria and formed part of the new government.

Concept

The concept of the show was that a dozen real asylum seekers lived inside containers, but instead of being voted out of the show (like in Big Brother), the candidates were to be voted out of the country. Creating and utilizing such a situation of living in a strictly confined area, not knowing what would happen next, was to remind the audience of Nazi concentration camps, pointing at and making artistic use of existing parallels between the Nazi camps and television formats like Big Brother.

Methodology

Installing TV programmes and other projects as mockeries of well-known existing formats is part of Schlingensief's methodology. In another show broadcast in Germany, "Freakstars 3000", he set up a talent cast show where all candidates where mentally handicapped. In the theatre project "Quiz 3000" (the "3000" is a recurring trademark of Schlingensief), he mocked the show "Who wants to be a millionaire?", using questions like "Please sort the following concentration camps from north to south".

Awards

* WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival: Winner Golden Special Jury Award 2003
* Images Festival Toronto: Best International Film made on Video
* International Film Festival Rotterdam: Official Selection 2003
* Mar del Plata Film Festival: Official Competition A 2003

References

*Kirsten Weiss: [http://architecture.mit.edu/thresholds/issue-contents/23/weiss23/weiss23.htm Recycling the Image of the Public Sphere in Art] . "thresholds" magazine, Journal #23: "deviant".
* [http://www.goethe.de/ins/au/lp/prj/flm/arc/fpf/en1618619.htm Goethe Insitut Australia's entry]
*imdb title|http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338040/


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