»5 Love songs came as a formal exercise reflecting my own experience during my first months in Solitude back in the end of 2009. On the third week I got very sick and for a month it was hard for me to move much. It was deep snow outside and I was spending big part of my day in front of the computer – reading, talking with friends but also watching music videos and dancing in my office chair.« –Mladen Alexiev
»I was imagining the others in the building sitting alone in their studios. I was imagining how, if one can just see through the walls, we form an accidental pattern, a sitting ballet of arbitrary movements induced by arbitrary songs. I have imagined the glass walls of the office buildings in the city centers and how many people dance in there. So when I was finally fine, I invited them in some of the shared spaces in the building to celebrate together a loneliness multiplied.« (Mladen Alexiev)
5 Love Songs (2010) explores the notion of the »mass ornament« in five tableaux recorded as one shot video and presented as a five-channel video installation.
The term »mass ornament« was coined by Siegfried Kracauer, who – while watching the Tiller Girls dance at the time and commenting on the emergent entertainment industry – described the features of mass culture. Dancing in formations, the girls were no longer recognizable as individuals; their body parts became rhythmically moving lines in a serial arrangement, directed towards an overall picture.
Kracauer describes this development as a »strange combination of ornamentation and politico-social order« and sees it as »analogous of the capitalist methods of production.« In the context of the internet, we can talk about some sort of »digital mass ornament«, where the actual bodies are brought to a halt, often seated, while at the same time connected in a global network spread all around the world.
5 Love Songs creates its tableaux by playing with the use of five combinations of different rhythms, architectural spaces, group arrangements and simple sets of movements and instructions.
Camera: Marcel Wehn
Original Music: Kalin Nikolov
Technical support: Moritz von Roth and Cesar Gutierrez Miranda
Participants: Mariana Alves, Ole Aselmann, Demian Bern, Ines Birkhan, Tobias Bodio, Liliana Corobca, Romy Czimmernings, Bernhard Dechant, Ines Hartung, Francois Joly, Marguerite Leudet, Kaiwan Mehta, Tommy Neuwirth, Ursula Renneke, Michl Schmidt