Gary Maahs


The series of prints (etchings combined with linocuts [Kaltnadelradierungen mit Linolschnitt, according to the artist] ) I want to discuss here is named appropriately the Presseschau series. Its implicit (or explicit?) criticism of the media cannot be overlooked. Presseschau is a German term referring to a public television show broadcast regularly on Sundays where journalists converge to debate topical issues. Some critics may argue that usually only mainstream views are heard even though journalists from liberal papers (such as the Sueddeutsche Zeitung or the Frankfurter Rundschau) are invited occasionally. They are "minoritaire," of course. And the opinions voiced by these "left-wing liberals" deviate only marginally from what their "adversaries" have to say. Or so some people critical of the show feel.

Regardless of the opinions voiced, the "show" quality cannot be seriously denied. Today, whether we speak of NBC, CNN, or a German PBS network, the trend is towards if not info-tainment then at least what the Germans call "Inszenierung", a strategy that presupposes a "metteur-en-scene", a producer, a strategist who directs the way we look at a pre-arranged segment of reality.

Ute Haring seems to take up this criticism of today's media and their subtle or not so subtle ways to manipulate our perception of "reality."

                Presseschau 2 

A work like 'Presseschau 2' (Press show, #2), in an almost expressionist manner that is faintly reminding me of works by Kaethe Kollwitz and similar artists, drastically shows three persons in the background gagging an onlooker while forcing her to watch - presumably the news on television.


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