Since 2004, gute aussichten – junge deutsche fotografie has awarded prizes to the best younger photographers among graduates of the German art academies. Announced this year for the first time is the gute aussichten GRANT – eligible will be all of the prizewinners, whose number has meanwhile grown to 114. This year, the GRANT – a stipend designed to support the realization of a new work – was awarded to Stefanie Schroeder for her project 40h, max. 2 Months (work in progress). In her two-channel video projection, Schroeder sheds light on a topic that concerns all of us, and one that is currently giving rise to an undreamt of efflorescence – namely self-optimization.
Stefanie Schroeder participated in a program for business optimization in an effort to speed up the process of becoming a self-employed artist and to end her dependence on state funding. The employment office determines whether they will grant self-employment status based on the development projection calculation submitted in this process. Stefanie Schroeder’s proposal to make a film documentation of the process was denied. She transformed recordings of conversations, handouts, and correspondence into a script of her “project on the artistic business personality,” parts of which were filmed before the script was completed. The role models of artist, entrepreneur, and welfare recipient—all played by Stefanie Schroeder—meet in the script scenario.
In 40 Hrs., Max. 2 Months (work in progress), the artist Stefanie Schroeder grapples with the compatibility of these roles and their subjective experience with the optimization imperative that is demanded. To this end, she conducted research on stock photography websites and online Photoshop tutorials, participated in the relevant business seminars, analyzed her personal dream diary, and consulted specialized literature on the meaning of the “dotted line.”
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