Root Event

werkleitz Biennale 2006 Happy Believers
7. 9. 2006

Media culture has taken over important functions of religion, such as the offer of interpretation and ritualization models. Narrative interpretations of life, the answer to existential questions of life, and the diverse promises of salvation associated with them are negotiated in media formats ranging from popular cinema films, TV commercials and talk shows, all the way to interactive computer games. The media succeed in suggesting that they can fulfil in a differentiated way the need for (immediate) answers. In addition to their role as forerunner in providing orientation help that points the way for individually coping with everyday life, in the prevailing capitalist market economy, consumption counts as the last certainty of salvation. Shopping becomes a condensed, truthful experience, a new form of life. Ritual acts such as active devotion to the commodity fetishes in the so-called shrines to consumption are to provide the necessary constructions of meaning for the customers: “Consumption is a ritual act that creates the individual truth out of universal commodities.”1
However, the phantasmagorias conveyed by media and marketing strategies, the belief in an overarching media authority, as well as the effectiveness of the ‘object of value’ cannot deceive one about the vacuum in regard to authenticity and emotions. A program dedicated to the sense and nonsense of (media) consumption.

1 Norbert Bolz: Das Konsumistische Manifest. Wilhelm Fink Verlag 2002. p. 113