BitteBitteJaJa is an artistic duo of Roland Rauschmeier (b.1974 in Augsburg, Germany) and Ulu Braun (b. 1976 in Schongau, Germany) that started working together in 1997. Their work deals with the phenomena of everyday life. Through their spontaneous and integrated use of all media, almost in the way of a performance, they create a poetic interpretation of social drama: Where do we come from? Where are we going? What is going on? Unimpressed by criticism and formal deconstruction they create art that ignores false hopes, artistic boredom and intellectual blockades.
Roland Rauschmeier and Ulu Braun present:
BitteBitteJaJa Cadavres Exquis Vivants, 2008-2010 (loop)
The series Cadavres Exquis Vivants comprises short video portraits of two to four minutes duration which portray composite personalities drawn from diverse components. Edited as loops, the videos are exhibited like classic portraits and it is only upon second glance that one is able to determine how many different moving parts the portraits are composed of. A particularly fitting combination shows a desperately unhappy Katherine Hepburn with a fish tail, who appears to bemoan the misery of the world while making coffee. Making an almost tragic impression, the mathematician Copernicus – combined with the body of an ape – repeatedly shakes his head in disbelief and keeps repeating a single line like a mantra: “It was all a mistake.”
Ulu Braun Rhabarber Boy, 2007, 15:00 min
The film installation Rhabarber Boy (rhubarb boy) is setting a fantasy-world in relation to the archaic nature of a child, and raises the question about the moral responsibility of virtual creatures and content. The film describes the life of a wild boy, living in a forest without the influences of civilization. He is keeping an old comic-collage in his cottage and is trying to understand the colorful and figurative images of this icon.
Roland Rauschmeier & Achim Stiermann Man OS/extraordinateur, 2007, 14:00 min
A man is the central processing unit for a computer. On an average working day he is very busy keeping the system up and running. The tasks keep piling up and he has to open one program after another. When a virus finally infiltrates the system and the Internet Explorer is popping up endless windows, the system collapses.
BitteBitteJaja Maria Theresia und ihre 16 Kinder, 2010, 28:00 min – premiere!
Artist duo BitteBitteJaJa (Ulu Braun and Roland Rauschmeier) employed sixteen portraits of Maria Theresia’s children to combine little known historical facts about the lives of the legendary empress’ offspring and a powerful collage of images.
In a confident and refreshing way the two artists negate all visual and genre conventions and mount historical and scientific film material, commercials and ethnographic images, all digitally altered. As a result a Teletubby might be seen strolling through an 18th century royal garden and live exotic birds adorn what would appear to be the Habsburg coat of arms.
At the same time individual images associatively reference places and achievements significant to the brood repeatedly, then are swallowed up by a tremendous flood of images soon afterward.
Images of sporting events or factory workers counteract, for example, an examination of Emperor Franz Joseph through archival film material. Exotic scenes of Brazil supersede a kitschy sunset from a different part of the world as soon as Maria Elisabeth’s expedition to Brazil becomes the theme. Images of a well-known athlete’s shapely body pay tribute to Marie Antoinette, which are then followed by images showing action artist Hermann Nitsch.
The two filmmakers, in their historical associations, take advantage of the rich history of moving images to sketch a utopian view of Austria’s future. – Christa Auderlitzky