By naming themselves bankleer (empty bank), the artistic duo from Berlin already give a pointed clue to the thrust of their artistic output. Karin Kasböck and Christoph Maria Leitner criticise the system with their performances, interventions and video installations. The key topics deal with politics and the social wrongs which result. In their performance project “Die Irrenden. Europäische Defigurationen” (“The Errants. European Disfigurations”), bankleer investigate the invisible interplays between global financial flows and streams of migrants and thus the logic underlying policies which stumble from one scandal into the next crisis and threaten to keep falling to pieces.
Max-Joseph-Platz is the location for the performance “Die Irrenden. Europäische Defigurationen”. Bankleer intend to let heads roll there: likenesses of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and ECB head Mario Draghi meet Dutty Boukman, the leader of the first slave rebellion in Haiti in 1791. The three oversized heads talk to themselves, converse with each other or interact directly with the audience. Up to three actors can take their places inside the mobile sculptures made of polystyrene and laminated cardboard.
Their seemingly solid structure and stone-grey surface make the objects appear as if they were stray figures broken away from the urban architecture. Two figures, Little A and WE Europe, move about with them aimlessly in space. In the breaks between the 40-minute performance blocks, sound systems installed in the heads tell the story of how the body has been politicised and usurped by a pervasive capitalist economy.
Part of the performance project is the Tohubassbuuh, a mobile sound system in the shape of a giant megaphone. While the action takes place in Max-Joseph-Platz, it moves around monuments, historical busts and statues in the in the surrounding area. Using text and sound collages related to contemporary events, the Tohubassbuuh breaks the silent aura of history carved in stone and brings it to life in the present.