The installation #SELFIE_LEIPZIG, which ran from 21 January to 4 March 2017, and the operatic performance Others in Mind interweaved the current addiction to selfies with an allegory of the narcissism of dictators and the industrial traces of a collapsed political regime.
Von Berner created an installation in the former plant room of Kunstkraftwerk, a disused DDR power station, which included a closed- circuit system projecting footage of the viewers as they walked under a spotlight and electroluminescent material. Viewers were confronted with an oversized image of themselves, which was projected in real time onto the wall in front of them; the roof and walls of the plant room were drawn upon with glowing blue stripes. With this simple intervention, von Berner accentuated the auratic presence of the industrial ruin and layered it with the silhouettes of the viewers caught by her camera.
For the operatic performance Others in Mind, von Berner invited French baritone Boris Grappe to perform several of the roles of Der Kaiser von Atlantis by Viktor Ullmann with pianist Alexander Stessin from Opera Leipzig. One of them was that of the main protagonist, a narcissistic emperor who revered his own reflection in the #SELFIE_LEIPZIG installation, before facing a tragic end. In order for his subjects to be able to die again, he would have to accept to be the first one to go.
#SELFIE_LEIPZIG and the operatic performance Others in Mind were curated by Stéphanie Delcroix. They were produced by Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig and received the support of Matadero Madrid and Opera Leipzig.