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TO LOSE – a video commission by Arte Creative (2011), HD, 2min. 48sec.

Ondrej Brody & Kristofer Paetau present a fictional artist incorporated by an actor, presenting himself under the pseudonym “To Lose” and showing some similarities in size and clothing with his famous predecessor Toulouse Lautrec. His name is program: To Lose. Apart from sounding vaguely french and somehow familiar in art history it is the dooming failure contained in the artist’s name that is the focus of the work. To Lose is showing the struggle of an artist to ‘come up’ with an idea for his first solo exhibition in an ‘invisible dialogue’ with the public, ultimately transforming his struggle and his failure into a work of art ending with the last rebellious words of Toulouse Lautrec pronounced on his death bed to his own father: “vieux con!” (old cunt!).

In their video work and interventions throughout the last seven years, Ondrej Brody and Kristofer Paetau have emerged as ›agents provocateurs‹ of the international art scene. In an era when seemingly any action or type of work is deemed acceptable and marketable by the contemporary art establishment, Brody and Paetau continue to probe the borders of taste and sensibility, posing a serious threat to the normative social conditions of the art world and making a strong argument for the possible emergence of a new and virulent avant-garde.

The artists’ task is often approached via an interrogation of the idols of classical Modernism. »To Lose« will not be an exception. Resonating with the artists’ recent exploration of human verticality, »Ein lebendiger Gartenzwerg in Bad Ems«, »To Lose« will see the artists-as-curators introducing a new-old artist on to the contemporary art scene. His name is To Lose. Not Toulouse-Lautrec, exactly, but perhaps a descendant. A descendant ›invented‹ by the curators. But what will To Lose show in this, his first important solo exhibition? Will he be able to sustain the myth of artistic genius that has carried his career this far and preserved his predecessor’s name in the annals of art history? What role is left for the curators to play, now that they have ›handed over‹ the exhibition to this infamous, yet unknown artist? Is an artist just a name? What is in a name, anyway?

As their practice is always first and foremost a critical one, Ondrej Brody and Kristofer Paetau thus set up two conflicting ideas against one another in »To Lose«: the contemporary’s preference for the biographical over the difficulty of the work itself, and the contemporary artist’s struggle, in spite of all this, to continue to ›make it new‹, in the Modernist tradition. In the end, To Lose hopes to demonstrate exactly why, in a post-hyper-capitalistic scenario, to lose might be a more rewarding premise than to win.

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17 Responses to “ TO LOSE (2011) ”


  1. Excellent !


  2. Un-excellent!


  3. A little bit too short, was waiting for more ‘dwarf shit’ against the art world…


  4. dwarf shit


  5. lame and exploitative.


  6. Just for such people overintelligent in art
    my life as realist painter was so hard!!!
    (great video, accept my poesie!!!)


  7. Relatively, very safe art.


  8. A bit frustrating video showing a dwarf as an artist who can not find an idea for an exhibition… Where is the art?


  9. boring, sorry. The movie does not inspire the questions raised in the text below. It seems to me that you guys wanted to make a funny movie and then later tried to justify this by writing some meta-artworld-critique something something. it’s lazy and well… boring


  10. couldn´t see, doesn´t show up…


  11. I like the movie, the dwarf actor is courageous and obviously can not speak french. Of course the “boring” aspect is the frustration of the spectator because nothing really spectacular happens…


  12. I was waiting for the dwarf shit and piss to be thrown on the wall! What a disappointment.


  13. CUT !


  14. congratulations for you


  15. That actor has all except good directors or good ›agents provocateurs‹, if you prefer to call them so…!


  16. Maybe the “agents provocateurs” are loosing it? Maybe they ran out of ideas and made a work about exactly this?


  17. appealing to a work of art that sailed up the exploration of aesthetics in the works are like tolous Lautrac predecessors … congratulations and success in you as an artist who continues to explore with new works ….