Sylvanas Transformer

Sylvanas Transformer, 2011, single channel HD video. length: 17 min., color, sound, edition 5 / + 1, courtesy of the artist. The three different videos in the Transformer series deal with the cosplay phenomenon in China and focus on the act of transformation from “ordinary” human to fictional characters. They were shot with the help of the famous Noah’s Century Cosplay group in Chongqing, China that built and made characters from a variety of narrative universes such as Gundam, Starcraft and World of Warcraft. I am fascinated and cosplayed because this culture touches on many of the issues that are important to my artwork, namely the question of how culture changes under the influence of contemporary global media culture. A very important aspect here is the issue of intellectual property, which comes into play because all of these characters are registered trademarks owned by major international entertainment companies. What this means for fans and audiences to adapt and transform these symbols. In addition, cosplay opens many questions in conjunction with identification, since cosplayers deliberately choose to identify and act like fictional beings from a realm beyond real life boundaries such as race, class or gender. Production Credit: Concept, Camera, Editing: Axel Stockburger Century Noah Cosplay Group, Chongqing Translation: Li Xiaoxi Funded by bm: ukk and WWTF. Exhibition: Troubling Research: Knowledge Performance in the Arts (2011), xhibit, Vienna Academy of Fine Arts

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