Olaf Breuning

Olaf Breuning

IMA at Ksubi

22 March–03 May 201222 Mar–03 May 2012

Back in 2006, we showed Swiss artist Olaf Breuning’s two-channel video odyssey, Home. Now we bring you his mondo-jackass sequel, Home 2. In what looks like a handycam-video diary or an amateur travel documentary, we follow Breuning’s pal Brian Kerstetter (who the Guardian dubbed ‘the poor man’s Borat’) to Japan, Papua New Guinea, Switzerland, and Ghana, suffering his inane observations and lame jokes.

A demented cosmopolitan, Kerstetter’s character is fond of playing dress-up tricks on ‘the natives’. In Papua New Guinea, he wears a gorilla-costume head and an AC/DC T-shirt to meet the locals. In Japan, he persuades passers-by to pose with him in cat masks. In Switzerland, he strips Swiss men of their traditional Appenzell costumes, then (cross) dresses girls in them for a hotel-room sex romp. Kerstetter’s politically-incorrect antics reach new heights when—in the thrall of an anti-capitalist epiphany—he hands out money (and the shirt off his back) to kids living on a rubbish tip in Ghana. As much as the deluded, class-blind globetrotter claims to seek harmony and human connection—to find a home in the worlds of others—the effect is total alienation.

Shot ‘on location’ and improvised from real-life situations, Home 2 is partly for real, partly fake. The intermittant rattling projector sound and the images’ stuttering ‘scratched’ appearance suggest we are watching an old film, but Home 2 was clearly shot in the age of digital video, so these added ‘effects’ simply add to the sense of faux-authenticity. Breuning’s spot-on cringe comedy seems out of place in the earnest artworld, resonating against its routine political correctness and globalist presumptions.

The Institute of Modern Art acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the IMA now stands, the Jagera, Yuggera, Yugarapul, and Turrbal people. We offer our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first artists of this country. In the spirit of allyship, the IMA will continue to work with First Nations people to celebrate, support, and present their immense past, present, and future contribution to artistic practice and cultural expression.