six emotions

2004/07, 3-channel installation, total time ca. 12′, SD Pal / actor: Markus Wolff

The point of departure is a study made by Paul Ekman, researcher of facial expressions, who attempts to categorize human emotional expressions based on facial muscular impulses. In doing so, he investigates the question of which facial expressions are innate – or „natural“ – and which have been influenced by a specific cultural environment. For his research, Ekman isolated 40 individual muscle movements, defining the various facial expressions as the combination of those movements. His descriptions of the separate emotional feelings read like exaggeratedly precise director’s instructions. And that is exactly the way that they are used in this piece.