Christian Dumky

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How low can you go




duration: 31.42 min


code: dumkybusiness


“How Low Can You Go, 2014


At Konsthallen I created a black box showing a film that was thirty-two minutes long. Portraying a psychiatric ward but the viewer doesn’t see this clearly, because of it being set in a hotel with service minded staff instead of custodians. One scene is portraying the breakfast buffet on the hotel; all food that the guest could eat and the guests tell the staff what the want them to pick up on their plate. It could seem like I very service minded hotel until you see the angry glance when one of the guest take a bread loaf with their bare hands. I’m also dealing with the feeling of helplessness that someone else knows what’s best for you. The important aspect of this work should be how my original idea is presented in keeping with the mysticism around the work, not seeing everything straightforward and that the visitors had to question the common symbols they see in front of them. The association for the viewer marking the hotel room as a place connected to a psychiatric ward works because it puts the viewer in the head of the patient while watching the film I assume the role as a guest is more common then being a part of the staff. I like breaking down symbols that commonly is known as solid and productive and applying new filters how it could be looked upon. Meaning that every one who works at a hotel or visits they aren’t that simple and straightforward because the have a smile while serving you. If you take a work I admire as an example Chris burdens “beam drop” were he’s using I-beams that are typically used in creating skyscraper “landmarks”. Instead he decodes them from all of their values by dropping them in concrete and creating sculptures with them. The work is still respected by bystanders because it requires a vase amount of staff, machines and is very dangerous to perform.


I’ve chosen to exert a dialog in the film were the hierarchy between the guest, head chef and the employee is clearly stated.


Erica, Employee: We need a candle-lit dinner?


Head chef: Can’t you see that I’m in a meeting with Lena now.


Erica, employee: But I must inform you that we have moved Tanja so she has the big room on the left wing.



We’ll talk more about this later


Erica, Employee:

Alright - goodbye Lena


Head chef:

Where were we? Yes, you would like to move to a different room, but now it seems that Tanja has that room. So, what I understood is she going to be there for at least a couple of weeks, it’s too bad. But on the bright side I think this is good for your development, socialising with the surroundings more. You can’t be only walking around here and locked up in that room. It will not do.


Lena, Guest

I have come here to rest, not to engage with complete strangers. He has loads of stuff everywhere and that disrupts my focus.



Head chef:

Well, this is a new guest and I don’t think that is utmost., Our understanding is fundamental and you have to agree that it has got a lot better. Have you seen the menu for today? We have flounder, Chinese chop sui or a rich lentil soup with toast tonight.



I thought I could eat somewhere else today, go out a couple of hours, like we talked about?


Head Chef:

But Lena, don’t you remember last time when you got an hour and you tried to escape? That we can’t have, No I’ve put you down for a two-week spa instead.



I need to come out today!


Head chef:

Take it easy now, if you scream like that your not going to get a permission slip. You’ll see that this will be fine. Yes of course you’re a vegetarian. Then it’s settled - lentil soup for you tonight. That sounds good, doesn’t it? We’re not going to see each other for a couple of weeks, I’m going away.



Who will I then discuss leaving with? I’m never getting out of here, if you keep on changing the staff all the time.


Head Chef:

You don’t need to worry, I’m being replaced with someone that cooks just as good as me. You are not even going to notice any difference, all of us need to take a break sometime, even me.


Here in this text we could have the outside as an example of the world, the hotel staff uses the ignorance of not knowing what the guest is talking about when it works for them. Creating a filter for the guest that is their new reality of how the world operates, like technology those in our society. When trying to escape boredom the guest become violent and screams out her frustration instead of letting it pass.



Christian Dumky


I’m building a scaffold tower with a sound installation. When the visitor enters the gallery and sees that the speakers are making the noise, her or she realizes the building site is an illusion. The question the work gives the viewer is how we take things for granted and that our field of vision is limited, due to preconceptions we have of events we face daily in our environment. I want this installation to higlight the non-obvious aspect that a gallery visitor encounter: a pedestrian walks past a model of a scaffold, sees instead a worker of the same type of questioning person as herself, visiting the scaffolding from the gallery space.

We're Passed Deadline


Arton: Three

25 April–2 May

Gallery Rotor I, Valand Academy