In the video installation "Simile (von fremden Ländern und Menschen)", Dominique Hurth rehearses the first piece from Robert Schumann's Scenes from Childhood, an album of 15 short piano pieces, that the artist played herself as a child. Despite its title, the piece was not meant originally for children, but for grown-ups to remember (moments of) their childhood. The title refers to the score's direction “ped. simile“, where the player is meant to use the pedal the same way as it was previously directed, throughout the entire piece. The camera follows the line of the music and unfolds the atmosphere of a children's room with several left-overs of playful situations, all ready to rehearse or perform in the eyes of others.

Commissioned by Sonja Lau for the event “re: von der poesie im recht” that seeks to undertake a feminist assessment in relation to jurisdictional power. The focus is on women on trial – female artists, ‚bad mothers‘, women defendants and women plaintiffs on a rather lost cause. In doing so, “re: von der poesie im recht” also refers to a specific contemporary phenomenon, that has rarely been considered artistically, and yet finds itself in a sombre increase: divorce and child custody proceedings, in which a political or ideological image of women is always implicitly constructed. What is, actually, debated here, beyond the realms of the juridical paragraphs? And how can we develop modes of aesthetic expressions, that render this discourse visible?

Simile (von fremden Ländern und Menschen)
[“Simile (of Foreign Lands and People)”]

2-channel video installation
8:43 min

Camera: Francy Fabritz
Concept, Piano, Editing: Dominique Hurth
Thanks to: Francy Fabritz and Sonja Lau

Installation Views: Studio 1, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin, 07.12.2021
Photo Credits: Estefania Landesmann

Link to video on request.