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Tessa Knapp [Videonale.13]

*1981 in Stuttgart GER, lives and works in Cologne GER
Studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne GER


Exhibition [selection]: 

2011 57. Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen GER
        Atelier Galata: Exhibition Of Travels, Öffentlicher Raum Istanbul TUR
        24.Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Stuttgart GER

2010 Stipendium SHKH Schleswig, Holsteinisches Künstlerhaus GER
2010 New Talents Biennale Köln GER
2009 Videonale 12 Kunstmuseum Bonn GER
2008 Dwelling Place, Hong Gah Museum Taipei TPE


Tessa Knapp [Videonale.13] x

99 Beautiful, 2010, 17:00 min, colour, sound, 16:9 [Videonale.13]

The 99 names of Allah, which are also known to be his most beautiful names, are written down in the Koran in Arabic and are mostly translated as the various characteristics of Allah. In a secular country like Turkey, the meaning of the first names can be connected directly with people’s everyday language. Tessa Knapp directed her video in Istanbul and the protagonists, who come mostly from the Istanbul art scene, have names like Özlem (longing), Özgür (freedom), Evrim (evolution), Volkan (volcano), Deniz (sea) or Bahar (spring). Like every name, these have an influence on their bearer, too. Like allegories from traditional plays, Tessa Knapp stages a succession of these ‘speaking names’ on a pitch-black stage. “I am the longing” is both the personal introduction of the protagonist and the general embodiment of a feeling. Before the people leave the stage after repeating their name, they talk about themselves and comment on the characteristics that are associated with their names. In this way, the scenes turn into a succession of film portraits that are spliced together as a video performance. These video portraits equally include tradition and contemporaneity, as well as spirituality and secularity, as a starting point for an artistic project, without restricting the playful ambiguity in favor of politically correct statements.

Georg Elben

Tessa Knapp