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bin überfordert

hosted and curated by Maria & Vadim Zakharov.

The German phrase “Ich bin überfordert” can not without a loss be translated into English. Possible translations such as “I am over-stretched” or “I cannot deal with this” surely come close, but they do not capture the drift of the passive voice in the German original. “I am over challenged would be a literal rendering, but it sounds awkward to native English ears. Interestingly, the preposition “über (or, more often “uber”) is one of the few German words somewhat regularly used in English. The roots of its use must be sought in Nietzsche (the “Übermensch”) and in popular Nazi films, and this is reflected in the way the word tends to be used “uber” names a quality that goes beyond what is merely intense of large, reaching into the “superhuman” realm. And so. In English an “uber cool” person is “cool”, but with a twist-fashionable beyond measure and stylish, almost too much so. And this is why to an English speaker who does not understand German well, the phrase “Ich bin überfordert” may likewise sound as if someone were claiming some such superhuman quality for herself, a maximum degree of being “(ge)fordert” that, while it is ostensibly the opposite of what the German phrase means, still touches on a paradoxical truth: to wit, that in these neoliberal times, our claim to being überfordert is sometimes less a sign of weakness than, on the contrary, the measure of just how much we push and challenge ourselves, how productive we are. The Switch from überfordert to uber-fordert makes all the difference then, as is so often the case when it comes to translations: Umwertung aller Werte. Sven Spieker

Artists, art historians, architects, curators, composers, editors, opera and film directors, journalists, photographers, philologists, writers responded to “bin überfordert”: Vito Acconci, Yuri Albert, Rob Blake, Barbara Breitenfellner, Safia Dickersbach, Kane Do, Maurice Doherty, Shahram Entekhabi, Susanne Frank, Moritz Frei, Jan Glisman, Pierre Granoux, Silvia Guerra, Doreet Levitte Harten, Jürgen Harten, Rudolf Herz, Patrick Huber, Yaroslav Schwarzstein, Renata Kaminska, Klaus Killisch, Yuri Leiderman, Colette Lumiere, Martin Maeller, Nicolas Manenti, Constanze Musterer, Mascha Pörzgen, Наталия Пшеничникова (Natalia Pschenitschnikova), Matthias Reichelt, Vinc Rischer, Michal B. Ron, Eike Schmitz, Karin Sander, Semra Sevin, Анатолий Журавлев (Anatoly Shuravlev), Alexander Skorobogatov, Vladimir Sorokin, Sven Spieker, Michael Staab, Sergei Tchoban, Anja Teske, Asako Tokitsu, Lukas Troberg, Timm Ulrichs, Meyer Voggenreiter, Brigitte Werneburg, Stephan Wiese, Miriam Wiesel, Daniel Zakharov, Ireen Zielonka.

8 – 10 December 2017
Freehome, Berlin

bin überfordert, 2017
bin überfordert, 2017
Klaus Killisch, Side B Overload, 2012, mixed media on canvas, 110x110cm

How to Unplug, Unwind and Free Yourself from the Pressure of Stress
If you every feel overwhelmed by life, you need to get a copy of “Success Under Stress”. The breathing and self talk are very helpful when I catch myself getting negative or anxious, especially the mantra “Progress not perfection. Life is bad for your health. I deleted my FB account, helped me to reduce stress. Quit your shit job.

bin überfordert, 2017
Klaus Killisch, Universalkünstler @ FreeHome, 2017

Yoga for Stress Relief
I do not like this at all. First instructor spends time with every scene folding blankets. Once is enough. Worst part is the instructor constantly gives instruction. Felt my stress level rising with this DVD. I HATE yoga. I love Pilates.

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