Lerne Deutsch mit Petra von Kant

  • 2007
  • Ming Wong
  • Video, coulour, sound, subtitles in German and in English
  • 9 min 57 s

Emblematic of his artistic approach, the video Learn German with Petra (2007) shows the artist in the guise of German actress Margit Carstensen, interpreting Petra von Kant in a culminating scene from the Rainer Werner Fassbinder film The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. Dressed in a similar outfit, Ming Wong, facing the camera, explores the emotions of the famous female character whose movements he appropriates and repeats, while repeating her words in German. Through this role-play, the artist draws a parallel between what this heroine— a fashion designer in a mid-career crisis and desperately lovelorn—experiences, and his own situation as an artist also in the middle career, thirty, single and gay and moving to a country whose language he does not speak. By speaking and acting like Petra von Kant, Ming Wong is preparing, in a way, to communicate as best he can with his future German compatriots. 

© Mink Wong © Mink Wong © Mink Wong


Ming Wong

Through multidisciplinary work—video, performances, installations—Ming Wong revisits the classics of world cinema: Pasolini, Visconti, Bergman, Wong Kar-wai, Fassbinder, etc..

By a meticulous process of reconstructing and skewing, which pokes fun at the reminiscings of collective memory, the artist reenacts scenes from legendary films by recomposing his own, mirror image of it. Male or female, he performs all roles, rarely calling on other performers. Through these fictional characters, he explores notions of representation and gender, culture and identity, but also of language. 

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