You Lamp! You Towel! You Plate!

HD Video, 17:11 Min.
English / Italian / German

Curses, invectives and insults are heard everywhere, but they are a form of verbal behavior covered by many taboos. They are dirty words. Religion, digestion, aggression and, most of all, sexuality are the areas that most dirty words are based on. Geographical or social contexts shift one area or another into the foreground. The results of a process of collecting local curses among fishmongers, gondoliers, students and others in Venice were combined with drawings and collages and are the basis of this video. Aggression, play and seduction are equally evident in the Italian examples. Logorrhea encounters silence, masculine verbal attacks encounter mute female masks. (Women in Venice of the seventeenth century liked to wear a plain black mask with a button on the back to be held between the teeth, shifting seduction from speaking to looks.)

In a single, continuous camera shot, the artist pages through the verbal weapons arsenal for an imaginary counterpart. Manifold comments on this are heard in the audio track. The title is taken from Sigmund Freud’s Ratman Case, in which a boy unaware of wicked expressions makes use of the words he knows: You lamp! You towel! You plate!

Simonetta Ferfoglia, Diane Shooman, Angelo Stagno,
Andrea van der Straeten

Joan-Marie Zimmerman

Bertram Hellermann

Sound Mix
Ingo Holub

Markus Fischer, FischerFilm

Supported by
Emily Harvey Foundation, Venice/New York
Oberösterreichische Landesregierung
Linz Kultur

Thanks to
Claudia Werner, Brucknerhaus Linz/ Public Relations

© Andrea van der Straeten, 2014, All rights reserved