Strangers is about the performativity of our everyday behavior. It stages and documents this as the coexistence of making sense and senselessness. The starting point for the short narrative, included in the series True Stories, are short stories from women and the artist herself, which describe "mishaps" in (semi-) public spaces: "embarrassing" or "uncomfortable" moments that trigger dismay and displeasure, because in these situations they seem to fall out of their roles.
In Strangers, on her way through the lobby of a train station, a woman loses, in public, the pantyhose that she had left in her pants the day before. In the repetition and translation of this event, Carola Dertnig uses both basic stylistic motifs from slapstick comedy, such as exaggeration and discrepancy between gesture and character, and analytical approaches from the history of feminist performance art. In this way, in the foreground is a situation comedy - the pantyhose are excessively long and without the woman noticing they stretch through the passersby as a continuous line and disruptive factor - which is continually broken through a visual and formal separation of bodies (rooms as well as persons) and speech. The absurdity leads to a rhetorical strategy
of reflecting on gender specific quotations ("doing gender") as a contradictory process in which "empty" and extremely full images are equally present and absent. At the same time, with the off-camera voice Dertnig quotes an excerpt from the sketch Die Fremden ("The Strangers") by Liesl Karlstadt and Karl Valentin (1940): a monologue about the relationship of the term "stranger" and "being foreign", as well as the question of what happens when a stranger is no longer strange.
Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt