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Clemens von Wedemeyer

The Fourth Wall

Video still from Clemen von Wedemeyer

Through a series of films fragments in The Curve and around the Barbican, Clemens von Wedemeyer explored the notion of ‘first contact’ and the uncertain distinction between fact and fiction

Eight different film fragments were presented in The Curve, all referring to first contact between anthropologists, explorers and groups of people living in remote jungle locations who had never previously had contact with Western civilisation.

Von Wedemeyer was inspired by the discovery of the Tasaday in 1971, a tiny ethnic group who became an instant news story as a contemporary instance of Stone Age living. In the 1980s they attracted international press attention as anthropologists and journalists declared them a hoax. Von Wedemeyer was fascinated by the question of whether the Tasaday’s performance in front of the world’s TV cameras was real or a piece of theatre.

During the exhibition, a theatre play inspired by the Tasaday was staged, with other film fragments presented around the Barbican, exploring other notions of first contact.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Additional support provided by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.