Richard Kriesche – Twins


From the website of Media Art Net: Two young girls, identical twins, sit in two separate but completely identical rooms, both in front of a video camera, and both reading Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’. Next to either girl is a monitor showing a live recording of the other twin. This apparent duplication of a human being is duplicated once more by a reproduction. This irritation – which reproduction is of whom? – is reinforced by a quote from Benjamin’s book that hangs on the wall as a programmatic statement: ‘The reproduced art-work (person) becomes to an ever increasing degree the reproduction of an art-work (person) that is designed to be reproduced.’

Kriesche, building on Benjamin, suggests that in the age of reproduction not only objects, but people as well will be genetically designed for reproduction. This work has a certain resemblance to my previous post, the TV-Buddha from Nam June Paik, which also poses questions on originality. The  Twins was performed in 1977, in the same period of time when the Tv-Buddha was produced. Obviously both Kiersche and Paik were influenced by the same historical, social, technological notions and therefore had similarities in their focus.

  The twins are positioned in different rooms and this distance between them plays a role in the installation. It isn’t  only they themselves, genetically and their images on the screen doubled, but the installations itself. In both rooms the “same” view is waiting for the spectator , initiating that it should come with the same experience as well.