Living Pictures

Warum ist Barbie blond ?

Video Installation / 1996 / 7h / False wall 220 cm, 8 monitors, velvet wallpaper / Kunstraum Düsseldorf, Salzmann Bau, Düsseldorf.

Warum ist Barbie blond? [Why is Barbie blond?] was filmed with 23 tenants of the Salzman Bau. For ten days I had set up shop in the communal room of the building, situated in Düsseldorf’s Turkish neighbourhood. The Salzman Bau, once a printing works, had been turned into council housing by neighbourhood associations, after a fierce legal battle lasting more than ten years with the city promoters. In the end, the region opened it to artists, Germans from former East Germany, homeless people, and people with very low incomes. At the bottom of the buildings it incorporated three venues: a contemporary art centre run by the curators of Düsseldorf’s four museums, as well as an elected artist, a concert hall, and a restaurant. As a kind of post-1980s social utopia, the Salzman Bau was like a great ship sailing in the middle of the city.
My questions revolved around everything that makes it difficult for people to get on with each other: race, smell, skin colour, morality, political beliefs, religious issues etc. Just one question was the same for

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