Dante Buu, and you—do you die happy? (behind the scenes), 2021
I dreamt of Boris.
He was sitting at the reception desk of your practice telling me: he is in a mood today, he is preparing the students for a competition.
And it hit me,
whilst I was waiting around for you, you were living the life. I am in your practice, and yes, you are in a mood, but not because of the students or the competition, you are in a mood because I am there. You were so handsome, with those broad shoulders and biceps that flexed when you crossed your arms under your chest, placing your hands in your armpits.
I woke up in tears,
the kind which pulls out a sob… and yet, so scarcely they fall. A tear here and there, out of a dream, but from the reality, that, from me, you are gone. Forever.
– Dante Buu
and you—do you die happy? Dante Buu’s first solo exhibition in Berlin showcases socialised pretence, normativity and performativity from the Open Window at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, running daily March 25th through April 1st 2021, from 19:00-23:00.
The centrepiece of Buu’s exhibition is the long-durational performance and you—do you die happy?, 2021. Disembodied from space and time, the artist stands motionless, captured mid-phone call as he gazes wistfully out of the window. To an audience who cannot hear, his tear-stained mascara is the only hint. As an object in a window, overexposed yet barely graspable, the performance embodies the toxicity of the gendered binary and ruminates on love’s lies in the midst of increasingly blurred boundaries between the private and the public, yet resists the inscribed narratives of external social actors and status signifiers.
The video installation Weekend Lovers II (since 2013 ongoing), builds upon this trajectory, exploring the notion of fake identities under patriarchal hegemony in the age of social media. Emanating from the triptych Weekend Lovers, 2013–ongoing, the video presents a girl and a boy, picture perfect in heteronormativity: but, what remains unseen, untold and unheard?
OPEN WINDOW is a series of presentations by the artists-in-residence at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, who currently don’t have the chance to show their work in the usual Open Studios and exhibitions. Their works can be seen from the window front, Kottbusser Str 10 each day. Initiated by Arthur Debert.