What does it mean to be human? How does my body relate to machines and how does my body relate to nature? These are questions that photographer, video artist and performer Isabelle Wenzel (1982, DE) explores in her new video work Automatia. In a series of scenes, we see an androgynous protagonist (the artist) making abstract movements. She is not alone: her partner is a drone. It follows her every move, swaying back and forth, bobbing up and down. They are two bodies, at times connected, at times detached from each other, moving in desolate landscapes somewhere in the world. These landscapes symbolise the loneliness of the protagonist: a barren dry plain, a field in winter where the stumps of the harvested crop protrude from the black ground – yellow and barren, a studio with a green screen, a deserted car park outside a hardware store.
In these no man’s lands, the protagonist exposes themself to the natural elements of earth, water, air and fire, always accompanied by a technical device. Isabelle’s visual research addresses the question of what it means to experience life and nature with the influence of technology, and whether nature is something we have already lost, or if it is something we can still save.