mouse deutsch fraulein

Mouse has finally recovered and rejoined us yesterday. She certainly didn’t want to miss Miss Viwi’s third installment about the background of the Dede puppets. But has she learned from her breakdown? No!

Deutsch Fraulein volunteered to do the translation this time. She believes she isn’t featured enough on the blog. Mouse, however, doesn’t think much of Deutsch Fraulein’s skills. In the end they tried to work together and were nearly finished, when they started to quarrel over who is driving the computer mouse. One of them, I don’t know who, accidentally clicked the ‘Publish’ button before the translation was finished… So if you got a partially finished post in your inbox, I apologise. After that, both of them lost interest and I was left to finish the translation of Miss Viwi’s work this morning. So, here is… (And you will find the German original here)

It is amazing how time flies. This is already the third part of the fascinating interview series with Dietlind Wagner.

miss viwi: Why do the Dede’s have bodies in the film, but not in the exhibition?

dietlind:the puppets were conceived as ‘Nobodies’, which of course is ambiguous, like so many other aspects of the work.

On the one hand it is a comment that everything happens in one’s head. (This has something to do with my experience in digital. For years I have mainly worked digitally. Only when I took up painting in acrylic again, did I realise how much I missed the the haptic and physical in my work.)

On the other hand a  „Nobody“ is also an non-entity.
Everybody is in some respect a nobody“.

miss viwi: Can one interpret it in such a way that the puppets are living subjects in the film, while in an exhibition they are objects created by you?

dietlind:Yes, that is pretty much how it is.

In the book the puppets have digitally added bodies. I realised that body language is absolutely necessary to tell a story, even if it is only expressed by a very simple body.
Later the Dedes got their black robes, as contrast to their colourful heads.

In an exhibition I want the viewers to engage closely with the collages. They hint at a character’s traits. Foxy Lady, for example, has a map on the back of her head, indicating she is a roamer. Devil’s Advocate is a man of words and has a scrabble board.

The collages are too detailed to come out in photographs, but the puppets can be easily distinguished. 

In story-telling the additional expression of the body is absolutely necessary, as the facial expressions are as good as non-existent. I say as good as: it is in fact possible to tease out slightly different expressions by changing the camera angle.”{The finalists in the Super Dede Competition 2012.
Left to right: L’artiste Dede, Harvey, Mouse (back), Pig (front) and Cash Cow.}

The dedepuppets are artworks that function on multiple levels: as photographs, sculptures, video, illustrations and literature.

miss viwi: Where exactly does the subjectifying of objects take place and vice versa, the objectifying of subjects?

dietlind:This is a very good question.
It happens in the mind of the viewer. Everyone interprets their surroundings with their own knowledge and values.
In my opinion it is impossible to communicate with another subject completely and unambiguously. Every communication is ultimately a reflection on the ‘self’.

When I view my cat as my baby, I will interpret her reactions to me as that of a baby. Does the cat behave like a baby? No, she behaves like a cat, it is me who sees what I want to see!
Of course I need to know how a baby reacts to actually see it in my cat.

When I tell the story, that Nosy Neighbour complains about the party noise at night, everybody who has experienced a similar complaint will see in  Nosy Neighbour their neigbour, not mine.”

miss viwi: Do you have a puppet you don’t like?

dietlind:Two-faced is a puppet I visually dislike. She has one laughing face and one in which she rolls her eyes. She irritates me.

 All the other puppets have some character traits I dislike, but at the same time they have lovely traits and it balances itself out. One exception is Harvey, the gambling rabbit. I try to understand him, but somehow it doesn’t seem to work. In real live a Harvey would have a lot of trouble with me. And Smug Little Devil is getting up my nose as well.”

miss viwi: How much Dietlind-personality is in the individual puppet personalities?

dietlind:Plenty, but none is undilutedly Dietlind. I have friends who have read the book and could see themselves in every single character. That shows that they are only general observations. None of the characters are based on a particular person.”

miss viwi: What do you mean by Parallel Universe?

dietlind:Like in real life, but not real.
The term ‘Parallel Universe’ was taking the mickey on current culture on TV. I think that is certainly no different in Austria than in New Zealand, parallel universes are in.

The Dedes have an absolutely non-thrilling life, just like most people: no murder, no killings, no sex in public but they still tell their stories and life goes on…”

miss viwi: Does the creation of art always happen in a parallel universe?

dietlind: “I can’t answer this question for everybody. For me personally the creation definitely takes place in a different sphere. I wouldn’t call it a parallel universe, though.”, Super Dede 2012.

Mouse was initially angry with Dietlind when she found out about the interview, but the resentment has since vanished. Mouse was the first to check out the interview two weeks ago… as soon as it was published. Her approving final words were: “Miss Viwi has done a wonderful job and I am certainly looking forward to next week.” They filled Miss Viwi with great pride.

Miss Viwi is excited to have won Mouse over and comments: “Can there be anything more wonderful than writing about Art and subsequently receive praise from the artwork itself.”

Miss Viwi also sent Mouse her the best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Next Sunday, 27th Jan 2013  |:::VEGGIETORIA:::| is expecting an additional special guest’Artiste Dede
{L’artiste dede, here with a triptych by Dietlind Wagner, Where am I?, Acrylic on canvas, 2012.}

Together with Dietlind Wagner he will answer questions about art and its function, and also some  personal ones.

See you next week, same time, same place, new guests, new questions.

Miss Viwi and Dietlind are happy about any comments on the series. You can leave a comment in German on Miss Viwi’s blog or email her You can also leave a comment on this blog here.