Zitty Berlin, 11.10.2007, No. 21/2007
Susanne Weirich

by Franka Nagel

Two hands on a white tablecloth, plates, glasses, cutlery. Fingers flatten out the already perfectly smooth cloth. A hand takes the fork, taps it on the table, puts it back in its place. The three video loops in the first room of Galerie Max Müller set the tone for the rest of Susanne Weirich’s exhibition White Lies. On the monitors the viewer sees displacement activities, the expression of nervousness or pedantry in almost documentary close up. These are gestures that do not express what is actually at issue, but convey encoded messages.
At the centre of the exhibition is the video work white Lies, which gives the exhibition its title. For this, the Berlin artist (b. 1962) whose hands can be seen in the loop, invited the actresses to a festively arranged table. She filmed each of the protagonists separately, and now shows the sequences in random combinations on adjacent flat screens. The three characters are clearly grandmother, mother and daughter, and clearly a conflict is smouldering here – one similar to Thomas Vinterberg’s Dogma film Festen. The subject of the conflict, however, remains hidden from the viewer. The three characters act passed each other. “I’m sorry about what I said”, the oldest woman keeps repeating, without explaining what it was. Just as the table remains without food, the sentences remain without content – mere verbal gestures. Susanne Weirich’s exhibition, which includes three further videos and photographs across three rooms, is a small tour de force of dramaturgy. The conceptual works mutually enrich and explain each other, but are sold separately. The question is whether they will still be so rich in connotations.