Martin Skauen, 2011-2013

Slideshow Johnny, Waterproof

Alternating between beat poetry and comedy, Slideshow Johnny is a portrait series of an experimental outsider artist, dedicated to the bone and highly influenced by personal issues. The series consists of several acts, diverse in tone and subject matter. It is his hilarity, naïveté and insecurities that are palpable through the camera's depiction of the character of Johnny.

With a surreal, dark and poetic sensitivity, Skauen explores the fragility of individual artistic expression alongside the scrutiny and hasty critique of the mainstream. Skauen pushes that fragility to its limits and invites the viewer to engage with those aspects of artistic practice and opinion making. At the forefront of the work is the fear of mediocrity as well as the problematics of legitimacy and critique. The audience is a vital part of the act; their laughter, clapping, cheering, or bemusement, along other ambient sounds are heard throughout the work.

Slideshow Johnny, Waterproof is an enigmatic short sketch, where Johnny is burying his head in a water bucket whilst playing the guitar, muting "the words that tell the truth".

Skauens' portraits of Johnny alternate between extreme self-confidence and doubt. Represented in the plastering of posters to announce the show, random chairs and oversized screens - with a theatrical yet budget installation - Skauen proposes a fine line between the pathetic and the superstar, thus divulging the fickle nature of the audience.

Register (FL//040)

Slideshow Johnny, Waterproof
Martin Skauen
1 channel video, color video, stereo audio
720px x 576px, 1'20"