Food Forward: Christian Jankowski

15 January - 1 April 2012
Location: Hogewal 1-9, The Hague
Main page Food Forward: click here

The Hunt (1992-97) is Christian Jankowski's most seminal early project. The footage captures a segment of Jankowski's weeklong quest to eat only groceries he shot in the supermarket with a bow and arrow. Jankowski visited several supermarkets and kept on filming until security guards kicked him out. The final video, 1 minute and 11 seconds long, was recorded in 1 take and shows us a successful hunt. Jankowski shoots eggs, butter, a chicken and other items. He puts them, arrows still in place, on the conveyor belt and pays an unperturbed cashier. The video, shot by a friend, has a certain Do-It-Yourself or home video quality that makes it all the more absurd and funny.

In Frieze (2002, issue 66) James Trainor and Ana Paula Cohen see key aspects of Jankowski's work in this early video: 'A regard for process over finished product; a dependence on the unpredictable participation of others, specifically non-artists and amateurs (he enlists the unwitting shoppers and cashiers) within scripted or improvised situations; a fascination with types of exchange (economic, linguistic, visual) and role reversals (budding young professional artist or dilettantish sportsman?); and, above all, a comfortable ease in making gesture, play and humour vital to his art.' Read the  full article online at:

In 1997, the filmmaker Lars Kraume approached Jankowski because he wanted to make a film featuring The Hunt. The romantic comedy by Kraume, Viktor Vogel: Commercial Man (2001), dealt with a young female video artist, Rosa, whose adman boyfriend, Viktor, steals her ideas and turns them into hip and commercially successful product commercials. Jankowski agreed on the condition that he would be allowed to make his own short film during Kraume's filming process, using his actors and sets. This turned into the video work Rosa (2001). Both premiered at the same time, Rosa at the Berlin Biennale and Viktor Vogel in theaters.

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