Private Project


The video work questions the so-called „performance principle" (or „achievement principle“) according to which many societies today, especially Western ones, are socially and economically organised.

A positive development compared to the rigid hierarchy of estates in the Middle Ages, still the principle of achievement remains a myth. For in reality, social and cultural origins and wealth are still decisive for what we can achieve in life in most Western societies.

But what is „performance" at all? It doesn't exist in nature. It was physics that shaped the idea that we have applied to the machinized human since industrialization: Performance is work by time. According to this logic everything in the world can be measured and thus made comparable: by school grades, intelligence quotients, salaries, record times, gross domestic products, CO2 emissions and much more. In the current coalition agreement of the German government, the word „performance" appears 109 times on 179 pages. „Achievement needs to be worthwhile again.“ An old as well as a new saying. It sounds like an incantation - a magic spell or counting-out rhyme that counts - and counts out somebody, again and again. Folklorists actually associate counting-out rhymes with ancient druidic rituals of sortilege in which the victim on whom the lot fell was chosen for death.

The video work performs a shamanistic invocation of the performance ideal in order to also imagine the possibility of alternatives with the help of a trance-like state.

  • Tanja Küchle
  • Tanja Küchle
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Video Art, Experimental Short, sociocritical, Video Poem
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 31 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 27, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Tanja Küchle

Born in Germany, 1980

Master in Cultural Anthropology and German Literature, 2009

Internship as journalist at Germanys public service broadcasting ARD (Hessischer Rundfunk), 2009

Working for ARD and Arte as filmmaker and as cultural journalist in radio and television, 2010 – today

Student at the Freie Kunstakademie Frankfurt, 2017 – 2018

Experimental/artistic video projects, 2017 – today

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Director Statement

For me the only way to understand the complexity of the world and of our existence is by telling stories and by listening to them. I admire working with sound and moving images because of their sensorial immediacy, especially at the intersection of research and art, science and experiment, provocation and poetry. I work and live in between, trying to tell stories I hope that are worth to be told.