Installation, Desk, 2 Single Channel Videos, World Map, String, Pins, Research Material; Google Maps Climate Tables, Packing List
Escape Plan was a continuation of my work exploring personal fear as I tried to avoid a potential 5-year jail sentence. The installation consisted of assembled research material, a drawing on the floor and two videos. The research material (printed on A4) was comprised of photos depicting beautiful landscapes and cities taken by tourists and locals, which had been uploaded to Google Maps. Alongside these were zoomed in maps with markings, tables of climate information, travel information by the German Federal Foreign Office and a packing list based on advice found on backpacker blogs.
These photos and maps were organized beside a route of the journey I proposed. Red pins marked points of reference along the route, connecting with red strings to their counterparts on a world map, situated on a desk in the centre of the room. The world map gave an overview of the itinerary and acted similarly to the vanishing point of a spatial drawing. To the left, stood a screen showing the video Wǒ bù xiǎng qù Zhōngguó. Wǒ bù xiǎng jìn jiānyù, and on the right One who drinks a lot, sleeps well. One who sleeps a lot, doesn´t sin. The blueprint of a prison cell, with a toilet and a sink was drawn on the ground with white paint.
Screenshots from Google Maps and Google Earth were put on the walls. The prints depict the whole route to China or Venezuela, both being rare countries that don’t maintain extradition agreements with Germany. These shots focused on specific points, like unguarded borders, where it would be unlikely to be checked by authorities, but one runs the risk of being shot by officials while crossing illegally. Train stations where one can board a cargo train, or images of villages and beautiful landscapes gave a romantic feeling to the research. There was also a list of necessary items for the trip, including earplugs for the cargo train, as it’s incredibly loud, and diarrhoea medication for the Russian Tundra and so on. Little things that dictate whether one stays alive.
In 2013, I received the first letter from the public prosecutor´s office explaining that I faced a 5-year jail sentence after being accused of selling 13kg of cannabis between 2007-2008. The trial took almost a year: a year of insecurity and pure anxiety. In 2014 on my final court day, the presiding judge concluded by saying “Mr. Angermann, you have already probated yourself, but it´s impossible for us to just let you go. So, we will give you a two-year suspended sentence on probation without any additional punishment.” This was the result of my testimony. I had proved that I had quit smoking and selling Cannabis in the year of 2008, that I went to school again, worked as a stained-glass craftsman and finally managed to study Fine Art at the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts. Additionally, I received huge support from professors, heads of institutions and other members of the cultural scene, who addressed letters to the five presiding judges.
I had started selling Cannabis in 2007 after I finished my job training, because I wanted to study Fine Art without any debts. In 2008, I stopped when I had earned enough money and when I grew tired of being surrounded by dangerous people. Simultaneously, the fear of being caught by the police or robbed by my fellows, had caused serious paranoia. Shortly after I stopped, all my money was stolen and I fell into a deep crisis, after risking everything for the dream of studying debt free.
13.07. – 15.07.2014 Annual Exhibition 2014, States Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart, DE