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Videostill from Sjezd, Martin Kohout, 2014, HMKV Video of the Month 2015 © the artist

Martin Kohout: Sjezd, 2014

Dortmunder U | 3rd Floor

In the series HMKV Video of the Month, HMKV presents current video works by international artists for the duration of one month each.

Martin Kohout
DE/CH/CZ 2014, Video, 06:32 Min.

The Czech word sjezd has several meanings. It can mean ‘downhill’, as in going down a mountain, for instance on a bike or a skateboard. But it also denotes a ‘reunion’ (of a political party, likeminded people, etc.). Finally, as a verb it can also mean ‘browsing through’ (images or material), or ‘offering harsh criticism’ (sjíždí).

Martin Kohout’s video Sjezd (2014) shows footage of a mobile telephone sliding over various surfaces in the Swiss canton of Ticino. The images are reminiscent of a skateboarding video filmed in first-person shooter perspective: the telephone rattles over handrails, jumps over stairs, scrapes past walls, clatters on the pavement, slides over a wire fence and screeches along a bench. The sound it makes – metal on metal, plastic on stone, glass on wood – turns the visual experience into a literally physical one. The soundtrack combines samples from Kohout’s project TOLE and Jahmiga’s Whiskey Bar with the voice of a radio announcer who can be heard disserting about ‘global warming’. Occasionally the artist’s shadow can be seen, and for split seconds, computer game characters flash up on the screen. Towards the end of the video, the image compression and stabilising functions start to waver and the footage becomes almost ecstatic. This ‘downhill’ ride is sure to get under your skin!

(Inke Arns)


The video is screened at the foyer of the HMKV.

Video-Interview (2014) with Martin Kohout on the czech website

1984 born in Prague, Czech Republic
1990 first knock-out tooth (fall from tricycle to the road)
1993 two times knock-out tooth (fall when walking on a paving, and slip on a wet foliage while pushing a concrete block up to the hill)
1996 two knock-out teeth (fall from a bicycle)
1997 knock-out tooth by a classmate of dyslexia class during prankish attack by a ping-pong bat
2010 broke tooth while eating candy

Martin Kohout lives in Berlin.

Curated by Inke Arns

Free admission