Anna Witt is a German artist (b. 1981) who often works in different local contexts with performative interventions in public space involving strangers, often passers-by. The works in the exhibition Manifesto are connected to a new site-specific work that the artist has been working on in Sundbyberg during the winter. A common theme of the new work and the works in the exhibition at Marabouparken art space is that they act as playfully staged situations where people can express their ideas about society – a characteristic feature of Anna Witt’s artistic practice.
Thinking seen as an action in itself is something that pervades Anna Witt’s artistic practice. For the work Radical Thinking (video installation, 2009), the artist spent two weeks in the shopping mall Lugner City in Vienna asking people to develop radical thoughts and if she could film them while they were thinking. “I feel that the action of thinking provides the person being portrayed with a certain power(scatch of an alternative realityattention ever connected to theirymtionding. n. You can observe somebody thinking but you can never catch up with their thoughts.” In this and other works the artist investigates ideas about who can be political and what the political means in everyday life. In Empower Me (video and cardboard signs, 2007), Anna Witt “kidnapped” random passers-by in the street and brought them into the exhibition space where she had built a small stage. Once in the room they were given the opportunity to define the demands for their release and act as hostages in a film. Anna Witt attempts, in different ways, to provoke confrontation between the individual and the surrounding world, whether in body language, text or via images. In The Eyewitness (video, 2012) we follow a group of children aged 8-10 who are discussing current news topics with each other in a room with blown-up images from the Reuters press archive. The children, reflecting the grown-up world with their mix of facts, misunderstandings, acquired opinions and their own ideas, allow us to take a closer look at how we actually handle these kinds of images.