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Die Untoten, 2020


Die Untoten (The Undead, 2020) was produced by Tobias Zielony for the public art project Gegenwarten in Chemnitz. In the style of a short B-movie, Zielony stages a violent showdown between two disgustingly dull zombies and two noble martial arts heroes dressed in slim blue onesies who finally break the neck of their opponents. The location caries a serious history. The National Socialist Underground (NSU) - a right wing terror group - lived in Chemnitz for some time and built up a dense network of supporters. Racism and right-wing violence are not over with the end of the NSU. The revenants and undead of right-wing extremist terror encounter a resistance in Zielony‘s film, which stands up to the zombies in spectacular and acrobatic battle scenes. It‘s as comic-like as it is saturated with reality, but the satisfaction about the victory of good over evil only lasts as long as the film starts all over again as it is looped.

Die Untoten (2020) produzierte Zielony für das Projekt Gegenwarten im öffentlichen Raum von Chemnitz. Im Stile eines kurzen B-Movies inszeniert Zielony den gewaltsamen Showdown zwischen zwei ekeligen, dumpfen Zombies und zwei in schlanke blaue Bodies gekleideten Held*innen der eleganten Kampfkunst, die ihren Kontrahenten schließlich das Genick brechen. Der Drehort ist pikant. Der Nationalsozialistische Untergrund (NSU) hat lange in Chemnitz gelebt und ein dichtes Unterstützer*innennetzwerk aufgebaut. Rassismus und rechte Gewalt sind mit dem Ende des NSU nicht vorbei. Die Widergänger und Untoten rechtsextremen Terrors treffen in Zielonys Film auf eine Gegenwehr, die in spektakulären und akrobatischen Kampfszenen den Zombies Paroli bieten. Das ist so comichaft wie realitätsgesättigt, aber die Genugtuung über den Sieg des Guten über das Böse währt nur so lange wie der Film – ein Loop – von vorne beginnt.

single channle HD video, 6:15 min, color, sound
edition of 8 + 2AP

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Tobias Zielony

Born in 1973 in Wuppertal, Germany, Tobias Zielony studied Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport, before he continued with artistic photography at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig under Timm Rautert in 2001. Tobias Zielony is known for his photographic depiction of juvenile minorities in suburban areas – a subject he already set out with during his studies in Newport. For his first book project “Behind the Block” (2004) he then extended his research to a total of four European cities to observe adolescents in public spaces often during night times. Themes and social realities his research touches upon include structural change, migration and drug abuse, as well as sexwork as shown in “Big Sexyland” (2006-2008) and “Jenny, Jenny” (2013). For “Manitoba” (2009-2011) Tobias Zielony spent time with adolescents of indigenous origins living in Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba, Canada. His critical approach to documentarism manifests in a specific aesthetic and relationship with fiction. People are often portrayed in a casual fashion that is sensitive of the visual language, gestures and poses a person uses to set their stage. In 2015 the artist participated at a group show for the German Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale with his work “The Citizen” (2015). He had group shows for example at Bozar Center for Fine Arts, Brussels (2015) and the 2nd Montevideo Biennial (2014) and solo shows at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2011) and Berlinische Galerie (2013). He participated in the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York, and was awarded the Karl-Ströher-Preis in 2011. In 2021 he hold his first retrospective "The Fall" at the Museum Folkwang in Essen.

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