Sven Johne, 2014


The isle of paradise – beaches, palm trees, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. The island is owned by the German-Brazilian tycoon Erik Tabaraos, who intends to develop an exclusive resort for the extremely wealthy here. In any case, that's what Jutta, his German mother, says. An island reserved for the "leaders of the world" – and for her.

Jutta tells her son's story. Starting with nothing, Erik made 26 billion dollars practically overnight. All he had were a few delusional ideas. With little capital to speak of, he hired a "visual effects specialist", the best in the world she says. Erik's ideas were made into pictures: oil fields, mobile pipelines, shipyards. Whole cities full of happy working men and women. The films always ended with a shot of the rising sun.

Erik presented these breathtaking animated videos to international investors who, faced with an insecure Europe and ever weaker United States were looking for some place or other to invest their money. They put their money into Erik Tabarao's company, as enormous returns were promised for every dollar they invested. Even the Chinese wanted in on it. Tabarao promised them endless mineral resources.

Jutta can't understand it. She loves her son but is bitterly disappointed by his actions. She also knows that there are always two sides to the legendary story of a great rise and fall. Erik is no fraud. Rather, it is the furious rising tide of money that seems so disturbing, revealing as it does reflect the psychology of a "free market".

Sven Johne's video Jutta is based on the story of the German-Brazilian entrepreneur Eike Batista, who was once the seventh richest man on the planet. Much of the spoken text is adapted from statements made by him.

Register (FL//022)

Sven Johne
1 channel video, color video, stereo audio
1920px x 1080px, 17'36"