Born To Perform
A/USA, 2009, Super 8 transfer, silent, 20 min.

2 min excerpt.

(...) Structured yet informal, Petschnig’s videos thrive on contrast and visual rhymes, and here, the juxtaposition is one that takes us back in time to share the privileged view of the artist’s intimate childhood scenes. Following the determinism suggested in the video’s title, the narrative emphasizes continuity in a way that allows us to read the artist’s early desire to perform as perhaps not only innate, but born out of a need to distinguish herself from her identical twin. And throughout the film, Petschnig insists on specificity—namely the specificity of her own body and its performative capacities over time. In close relation to this, however, is her control over what we as viewers can and can’t see. While the brief glimpses of Petschnig in fetish suits present an elusive erotics, the density of fleeting signifiers is what’s titillating—it’s as if she is knowingly tempting us with a symbolism that connotes stages of psychosexual development.