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Melanie Manchot

Strangers, 2001
For a moment between strangers
In this video performance, I invite strangers on the street to give me a kiss, while recording their responses with a concealed video and sound camera. Employing the kiss as a metaphor for intimate exchange, the work is situated at the intersection of public space and private activity. It aims to ask, whether moments of intimacy can occur between strangers in public, whether the anonymity and phobia of urban space can be interrupted. Urban space frames the work which was performed/filmed in London, New York, Los Angeles and Cologne.

Set up as a staged documentary, the work operates on the grounds of ‘real life’ yet perpetuates itself like an endless ritual, relating to our continuous search fuelled by fantasy and desire. The work consist of two distinct edits - Version A, longer and more narrative/Version B, shorter and more formal in its endless loop. In an installation, the two versions are shown simultaneously, referencing back and forth between the two modes of viewing. In a single screening only the longer, narrative piece is presented.
 
For a moment between strangers (filmstills)
Exhibition view, Galerie m Bochum, Summertime, 2006