Item description for Otto Berchem: It's Not My Fault by Otto Berchem, Lisette Smits & Charles Esche...
American artist Otto Berchem (1967, Milford, Connecticut, USA) moved to Amsterdam in the mid-1990s, where he's been living and working ever since.
Many of Berchem's projects speak directly about his own life, documenting his progress from the United States to Europe, uncovering his fears and weaknesses and, in doing so, transforming his experience of the world as he tries to play his part in ours. He intrudes in other people's social and/or private lives, and focuses on patterns of behavior. Voyeurism is a key aspect of the work and it often seems that the projects in which he appears are actually attempts to catch a glimpse of himself, to be a voyeur of his own behavior as well as an obsessive watcher of others.
His favorite subjects are banal: (male) sexuality, sports and the arena of life, television. In his texts and slide pieces, his performances, his videos, the TV talk shows and large installations Berchem places himself amongst his audience, and his audience places itself in the center of his work. Essential to the whole process are the discussions about his work and the collaboration with others - colleagues, friends and total strangers - in realizing them.
"It's Not My Fault" gives a comprehensive overview of the diversity of Berchem's projects to date. The illustrations are combined with original texts by the artist, comments by participants in his productions, and an introduction by curator Lisette Smits, and a major essay by curator/critic Charles Esche.
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