A new word has entered the German lexicon: “Wutbürger,” “enraged citizen.” It is generally used in the plural to designate crowds of people who are upset over certain issues; disaffected with the political process and feeling powerless, they come together to articulate their displeasure in public. Their “rage” is entirely focused on a particular aspect of outward reality, and their collective purpose is to change that aspect — in some instances, by drastic means. But what about the individual “Wutbürger”? What about the rage and disappointment that ultimately simmer within each one? What happens when pent-up feelings of frustration and impotence never find release?
Christoph Grünberger and Andreas Lutz’s video installation “Wutbürger” explores the personal rage and individual failure of a German man. Looking back on his life, the protagonist Stefan W. — played by Andreas Genschmar — relives various episodes that eventually led him into the dead end, effectively a prison of his own making, in which he now finds himself. A five-hour performance set in a custom-made box was recorded to produce images that give the viewer the feeling of being confronted with a live action that addresses him directly. The box and video installation have been presented in thirteen different public settings in Germany and won an Excellence Award at the 19th Japan Media Arts Festival.
With a preface by Prof. Morihiro Satow and essays by Andreas Genschmar, Andreas Lutz, Dr. Frauke Nowak and Christoph Tratberger.
“The work somewhat reminds me of the famous feminist slogan ‘the personal is political’ in an absolutely contemporary way.”
(Excerpt from the preface by Morihiro Satow, Professor at Kyoto Seika University)
“The fundamental anthropological Wutbürger shown here, as a domesticated imitation of Klaus Kinski, can be understood as the origin of the political system.”
(From “Der Wutbürger — Hybrid art or what?” by Dr. Frauke Nowak, 2014)