In his work, Swiss artist Christoph Draeger uses video, installation, photography, and constant nods to the language of Hollywood and the mass media, which he dissects with a critical gaze and a spirit of reflection. Draeger describes his work as an analysis of the way we respond to and interact with the media. To this end, his main vehicle is disaster: natural catastrophes, wars, and other tragedies as paradigmatic examples of contemporary media hype. The tools of media coverage, its implications, the ephemeral nature of disasters which are exploited and quickly replaced by a new event, always more shocking than the last. “We are consuming disasters. Disasters are by far what gets the most attention in the media. People are almost hooked on live disasters,” he says in the interview.
His pieces use archival footage and material that he produces himself, often reenacting events, reproducing fragments of films, or manipulating existing documents in order to emphasise, exaggerate, and point out key aspects in the complex web that makes up our notion of the world, which, in the digital era, is inextricable from information networks. As Draeger says, “reality, reenactment, live footage, tv, and a certain degree of fiction, are all intertwined”.
SON[I]A talks to Christoph Draeger about surveillance, copies and originals, critical distance, reenactments, layers of meanings, and provocation.