video, sound, 02'57'', 16:9, color, German with English subtitles
installation with green screen
Berlin, Germany, 2019
The German phrase Russenhocke literally means russian squats. None of the Germans I have asked could clearly answer why squats have to be russian. I can only make assumptions why it is called like this. For example, the reason could be migration of russians with German background from the USSR to Germany. Let’s imagine they all were sitting in squats, because they had to wait a lot of time in places for bureaucratic reasons and there were no benches. Therefore newly made German citizens were squatting and spoke russian.
Nowadays russian squats are totally romanticised not only by Germans: the Internet is full of photos from all over the globe with people squatting and showing how cool they are. It is interesting that in russia squatting means something completely different. Sitting in this position is a prerogative of criminalised youth or prisoners.
In this project I have been interested in how national stereotypes are formed and used, and how some of them are romanticised.
The main part of the installation is a video work, the specific location of which makes the audience practically squat down and, in fact, repeat the stereotypical position of the body.