In her art video Die Faust (The Fist), Veronika Veit takes a very specific look at the mother-daughter relationship. The scene is set in a simple 1950s decor, and here it is all about memory, too. In this work, the artist illuminates the relationship between her two protagonists. Mother and daughter are connected by the typically female ritual of winding yarn, or rather by a grey wool thread. The mother seems satisfied, completely filled out by her role; the girl is obedient, but her attitude is also defiant. Her behavior does not change either when suddenly a fish jumps out of the coffee-pot. The mother retains authoritarian control over what is happening and finally bites the troublemaker’s head off. Afterwards, she retightens her lipstick like all monster-mothers in peace of mind.
Andrea Holzherr, Catalogue: Childhood Myth, Ludwigshafen, 2010
In the animated video Die Faust (The Fist), which was shot in 2010 and has since found its place in the Goetz Collection, Munich, and was also shown in the 2016 exhibition “No Place Like Home” at Haus der Kunst, mother and daughter sit in a room furnished in the style of the 1950s while rolling up the yarn. Suddenly, a fist hits the table and a fish jumps out of the coffee pot and lands on the table with its fins flapping. The mother stuffs it back into the coffeepot, closely watched by her daughter. The cold-bloodedly acting mother brings the situation under control with the highest brutality, but the questioning look of her daughter remains. Absurd, but also with a lot of humor, the artist stages the handling of taboo subjects in families, especially in the 1950s. Veit: “The film should show how violence and communication were dealt with in the late fifties. Everything had to be good again all at once and a lot was swept under the carpet.
In addition to a few copies of the stills from this film, here is an exclusive copy of the Video The Fist.
Watch the preview video of Die Faust [The Fist]:
Die_Faust by Veronika Veit on Vimeo.
More information on veronika-veit.com.