Angst Essen / Eat Fear
single channel video installation
27:00 mins loop
During his residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Ming, who was inspired by the strong Turkish presence in Berlin’s Kreuzberg area, developed his latest video work, Angst Essen/Eat Fear, a reconstruction of a Fassbinder movie, Angst essen Seele auf (1973), which tells the story of Emmi, an elderly cleaning woman from Munich, who falls in love with a much younger Moroccan immigrant worker named Ali. The two unlikely lovers start living together as a couple, which at that time in Germany was socially looked down upon, if not deemed downright scandalous. In Fassbinder’s film, their relationship threatens to turn into a disaster under the pressure of hostile and discriminatory social reflexes.
In Angst Essen/Eat Fear, Ming plays all the roles. Speaking an approximate German, he embodies up to five persons at the same time, relentlessly switching between various identities defined by gender, age or nationality.
By playing all the protagonists in a wholly unfamiliar language, Ming redirects the arrows of antagonism back onto every single one of the characters, thus turning each figure into an ‘other’ or a ‘stranger’.
Beyond a reflection on identity and alterity – a topic which is at the heart of his artistic project – Ming’s works are enlivened by a deeply funny and entertaining dimension, which helps reveal the positive options unlocked by a playful state of ‘in-betweenness’ – in-between ethnicities, languages and genders.
Director of Photography: Carlos Vasquez
Production assistants: Jungju An, Sonja Schmidt
Make-up: Julia Lohmüller, Katrin Wespel, Lyn Kato
Supporting Actors: Kate Fulton, Hermann Heisig
Stills Photography: Anja Teske, Job Janssen, Anouk Kruithof