• Konsumerhaltungssatz (Law of conservation of consumption)

Konsumerhaltungssatz (Law of conservation of consumption)

Fabian Knecht

Seven photographs, presented as instructions, show a man carrying an electric generator approaching a beverage vending machine. In the manner of a photonovel, we see him connecting the machine and putting a coin in it to obtain a bottle. In the last picture, bigger than the others, he seems to drink the liquid it contains. This unprecedented action, realized by the artist himself, took place in Fukushima in 2021, almost twelve years after the second largest nuclear disaster in the history of humanity. After the evacuation of some 150,000 inhabitants, the city has vestiges of a consumerist society. A relic of a catastrophe, the vending machine competes with the surrounding vegetation, which also seems to have resisted.

Knecht, used to extreme performances (he jumped from the roof of the Hamburger Bahnhof, for example), interacts here with a new kind of urban environment. At a time when nuclear energy is enjoying renewed interest, he invites the viewer to reflect on survival after the crash.