Peek a Boo

Full HD single channel video, 4 channel audio, 2019

Camera / Concept: Jens Lüstraeten
Sound / Programming: Jörg Lindenmaier
Production / Continuity: Nicola Schmidt

The original idea for 'Peek a Boo' came up during a four month stay in Latvia, inspired by two delegates of the Duma who requested the general attorney of Russia to investigate the legal status of the independence of the three Baltic states. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

At that point the annexation of Crimea was a reality for just one year and the conflict in eastern Ukraine in full operation.
After handing in our request for a filming permit at the border to Russia, we received support from the Latvian Institute and the Latvian Border Patrol. This enabled us to shoot the footage for the video work at the only two existing motorway border crossings as well as in areas of the green border between Latvia and Russia.

The dark black and white images of forest edges, fields, single watchtowers and the agonizingly slow clearances of trucks at the border crossings (Terehova and Karsava) are embedded in a fictional conversation consisting of real quotes made by politicians from the various spheres of influence, citizens of the involved countries, members of the military, etc.

While putting together the text elements, the structure of a theatre play evolved, which lead to the idea of working with 4.0 audio, creating the effect for the audience of being in the centre of a performative act (process/space).
Via layering, repetition and decontextualization of parts of the statements, through the course of the work, medial confusion grows, blurring the lines between truth, political opportunism or serious facts thus making it impossible for the viewer/listener to take an honest stand.

It is part of the concept of 'Peek a Boo' to as well replace the technical audio through actual performers, surrounding the audience and speaking the piece live. Thus the piece becomes a hybrid between the field of video art and the realm of theatre.

Peek a Boo, Full HD single channel video, 4 channel audio, © Jens Lüstraeten 2019

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