Axel Stockburger Recent Works
Axel Stockburger was very productive in 2010 and 2011. His recent works reveal a high level of interest in the virtual world of video games and the cosplay phenomena although the artist also deals with the impact of technology on the environment and the perception of the concept of psychoanalysis in the modern Chinese society. Nevertheless, most Stockburger’s video installations remain closely associated with video/computer games.
This video installation presents a shadow of a reaper and an attempt to present the contrast between the nature and technology in the Western world. The artist said that the video is related to Agnes Varda’s film “graneur et glaneuses” and that the presentation of grass cutting is a metaphor for the complex relationship between nature and the technology. At the same time, the video is also closely related to the traditional presentation of Death as the soul reaper by which the artist suggests that the human technological intervention in the nature is bringing death.
Cos I am (2010)
This video is presenting four young women dressed in fictional characters and deals with the boundaries between the real and fictional world, and the phenomena of the so-called “cosplay” (short for “costume play”). The artist again reveals his fascination with the virtual world and its impact on the modern society and culture.
Red Transformer (2011)
In the video Red Transformer, the artist presents the phenomena of the cosplay in China. The video shows transformation into a fictional character but it also shows the artist’s interest in this phenomena and its impact on cultural changes. Stockburger, however, also points out to the question of intellectual property as the cosplayers transform into characters that are registered trademarks of larger international companies. At the same time, he opens the question about the cosplay in terms of identity given that cosplayers adopt the appearance and behavioural patterns of their favourite fictional characters.
White Transformer (2011)
The video White Transformer is a continuation of the artist’s exploration of the phenomena of cosplay and the influence of the virtual world on contemporary culture. This video is in a way also a continuation of the story of Red Transformer.
Sylvanas Transformer (2011)
The last video from the cosplay series further accents the thin line between the ordinary and fantasy worlds as well as accents the process of adoption of different identity. This video is considerably longer from the previous cosplay videos and reveals the artist’s aim to present the phenomena more detailedly.
Ork Warrior (2011) and Jingshenfenxi (2010)
Videos Ork Warrior (2011) and Jingshenfenxi (2010) are discussed in articles Axel Stockburger’s Video Game Warriors and Who is Axel Stockburger, respectively.