John Connelly Presents
For her project Zivildienst ≠ Kunstprojekt (Social Service ≠ Art Project), 2006, Althea Thauberger collaborated with a group of young German men known as Zivis, participants in the titular program, which allows citizens to perform social work in lieu of stints in the military. This group investigation into issues such as mandatory service and national identity resulted in a series of connected works, including an eighteen-minute video. The latter features the eight young men pantomiming a series of social rituals and protocols—discussing, disagreeing, splitting into factions, reconciling, helping one another—that might be more precisely read as illustrating a progression from powerless adolescent to autonomous young adult. Like other of Thauberger’s works, which have often also incorporated contributions from different social groups and subcultures (female singer-songwriters, military
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