Melting Fridges Part I

Melting Fridges Part I

Date: 
30.01.2009 18:30
Festival edition: 
2009
Format: 
Talk

The refrigerator is among the most important technical achievements of everyday life and thus extends the so-called cooling chain. By means of this chain it is possible to preserve and eat perishable food independent of the time of year and to thus prevent typical nutritional deficiencies. In the 1950s the refrigerator, in addition to the car, television, and washing machine, symbolised the domestic modernity of the 'economic miracle'. Nevertheless, the electric refrigerator is a paradox: It cools its interior by heating up its surroundings and thereby becomes a reflection of a desolate progress-oriented society which enjoys its luxury on the inside at the cost of destroying its environment on the exterior.

The refrigerator is among the most important technical achievements of everyday life and thus extends the so-called cooling chain. By means of this chain it is possible to preserve and eat perishable food independent of the time of year and to thus prevent typical nutritional deficiencies. In the 1950s the refrigerator, in addition to the car, television, and washing machine, symbolised the domestic modernity of the 'economic miracle'. Nevertheless, the electric refrigerator is a paradox: It cools its interior by heating up its surroundings and thereby becomes a reflection of a desolate progress-oriented society which enjoys its luxury on the inside at the cost of destroying its environment on the exterior.
The manufacturer's film Lebensmittel im Eisschlaf (Food in Frozen Sleep) propagates a streamlined household. In contrast, The Perfect Human is a caricature of modern man. In the advertising film Match Your Mood the refrigerator becomes a lifestyle product; its function is no longer primary.
Sky Light and Acid Rain respond to the catastrophe of the Chernobyl reactor and the phenomenon of acid rain, which heralded the end of an apparently problem-free energy supply. The risky performance of an artist in front of an icebreaker in Number 8 – Everything is going to be alright reflects the fragile relationship between humans, nature, and technology.

Dieter Werner for AEG
Lebensmittel im Eisschlaf
brd, 1960, 14:00

Jørgen Leth
The Perfect Human
dk, 1967, 13:00

Jam Handy for Westinghouse Electric Corporation
Match Your Mood
us, 1968, 6:30

Chris Welsby
Sky Light
uk, 1988, 26:00

Bill Plympton for MTV
Acid Rain
us, 1989, 0:45

Guido van der Werve
Nummer acht – Everything is going to be alright
nl, 2007, 10:00

curated and presented by
Marcel Schwierin &
Florian Wüst

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