Camouflage Pullovers, 2018

Basel 2019
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Mixed Media
Films; ranging from 2’10” to 10’14”
1992/2018 There is a popular misconception that fashion is used to express and to emphasize one’s identity. For others, fashion is a means of diverting attention from their identity, or they wear specific clothes to assume some semblance of an identity. It is this point that Brandenburg examines with his Camouflage Pullovers. A suite of 10 knitted acrylic sweaters forms the central element of his eight short film loops. Attached to the neckline of these pullovers are hooded woolen masks with human features. These masks come in four ‘skin colors’ or ‘ethnicities’: Caucasian, Asian, Arab, African. People can use the Camouflage Pullovers to conceal and alter their ethnicity – which may sound playful, but soon takes us into dangerous territory. Brandenburg’s films show how they were worn in real life – in an apartment, in the tram, in a park in Berlin. The videos illustrate what an alarming and nightmarish effect a mask can have, if it is at once conspicuous and intended to conceal something from public view. – Based on a text by Jan Kedves, 2018