Waldner, Claudia.

*1975 in Munic, Germany
Diploma in Media Art, Akademie der Bildenden Künste (Academy of Fine Arts),
Munich, Prof.Klaus vom Bruch, Germany
Bachelor of Media Art, University of Applied Sciences Northern Switzerland, Switzerland


2011 Contribution to the contest Art and Architecture, Aarau, Switzerland 
2010  Kunstexpander (Festival for Boundary-crossing Artists), Aarau, Switzerland
Project Space for Art Education, KKL, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland
Akademie der Bildenden Künste (Academy of Fine Arts), Munich, Germany
2009 Trafo Baden, Switzerland


Date: 2009
Length: 06:18 min.
Format:  24 x 4:3 DV - PAL
Specification: Colour, Stereo


The video installation “fliegenschwimmen” represents the desire to fly, an act that is not possible underwater – a sense of freedom that has, nevertheless, been constricted.
“fliegenschwimmen” dares to step beyond the tacit boundaries of the formats prescribed to video art. A somewhat complex and elaborate installation consisting of 24 monitors brings a fresh approach to the current ways that  video and cinema are projected. Old CRT displays meet the computer era by means of digital input and high-resolution graphical material. The interplay between the binary opposites is also projected through the content, namely the confrontation of opposing emotions. The imagery emerging from a combination of water, expressed feelings and the flickering of the monitors makes up the poetry of “fliegenschwimmen”. The video installation convincingly illustrates a dramatically emotional, black-and-white sensation through multifaceted shades of gray. The central motif of this video work has emerged in close cooperation with the feature film “Der böse Onkel” (The Wicked Uncle) by Urs Odermatt. It focuses on the coming-of-age of daughters, the pursuit of freedom from maternal influence and the conflicts associated with this struggle. The media artist Claudia Waldner`s visual world of imagery, successfully interwoven with the stylistic devices of Odermatt`s language, creates a morbidly poetic world view.




► 1. Your video has been chosen among over 1700 festival entries to participate in Videonale 13. How central is the video medium to your overall artistic production? Is it complimentary to other media you use or do you work exclusively with video?


I am a very versatile artist. I see the medium of video as the most suitable tool for me to realize my ideas. Yet, this preference does not stop me from incorporating other media into my work. Often installation- or performance-based, my work almost invariably integrates visual arts, literature, philosophy and media arts. I also enjoy lending to it a touch of other subject areas such as medicine, chemistry or physics, which eventually allows for inventive interactions across disciplines.


► 2. Is there a particular theme, concept or problem your art addresses the most?


Because of the versatility of my work, the issues I address are varied. Still, I seem to keep returning to the concept of time. The confrontation with the transitoriness of things in terms of memories, as well as the observation and integration of public spaces, tend to be a predominant occupation.


► 3. What artists do you relate to or find significant for your own art-making?


It is hard for me to just mention a few names here, as I am continually getting to know many artists from a variety of genres. Some are artists that I am personally in contact with, while others are celebrities, legendary figures, be it old or young masters. To mention just a few: Fiona Tan, John Cage, Bruce Neumann, Alfred Hitchcock, Jacques Lacan, Susanna Brändli, Pascale Grau, Klaus vom Bruch, Roman Signer, Nici Jost, Ernst Waldner, Marc Hartmann, Rene Magritte are among the many I admire.


► 4. Do you think the video medium can address social or political issues better than other art media?


I do not see tackling political or social problems as among the responsibilities of art. Art communicates what is subjective- it is seldom sober and objective in its outlook on an issue. For me, video art allows for creating fantastic visuals, turning them into stories, or  letting visuals emerge out of real life stories and memories. But it cannot be expected to reflect social or political themes in realistic manner.


► 5. Art can be seen as a mirror that registers and reflects life or as a tool that transforms it. Which of the two positions is close to your own art-making philosophy?


Mine is a combination of both views. The more I register the outer world, the deeper I look inwards. I work reflectively especially in my performance-based works, to which action and reaction in public space is central. And it is in my installation and video works that I mean to transform the inner sensibilities and realm of emotions through use of metaphors.


► 6. How do you understand success in an art-making career?


Basically, I feel successful when I am contented. When the resulting work gets you thinking and is thus fulfilling. For me, success can be seen on a number of levels.  I feel it is important that my art connects with the public in some way. If I feel the finished work realizes my artistic intent, it gives me a great deal of satisfaction of course.


► 7. What is the most difficult and the most rewarding thing about making art / being an artist?


I must say, the combination of freedom, dreams, reality and down-to-earth-attitude it allows for. The beauty of and the most rewarding thing about this job is a certain sense of freedom and independence, as you can let your fancy roam and do unconventional things. I am able to, and allowed to be, a dreamer and an observer. There is another side to the coin, though: since I am my own boss, I cannot complain when I work overtime. Also, as an artist, I find that one can hardly ever feel satisfied with one`s own work, but this has to be taken in one’s stride.


► 8. What are your upcoming projects?


At the moment, nothing tangible is in sight. But a glance into my sketchbook reveals a video, a theater play, a performance, a book and holiday.


► 9. What do you do when you don't make art?

I work as a night watch in a senior citizen center, which is a bread and butter job with a regular income. I am also a mother and enjoying life in general tremendously. However, I make sure I reserve enough time and energy for my art.


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