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I Want To Be Like You

In her film “I Want to Be Like You”, Schürrer confronts a self-authored script with a series of commercial images, floating above a dark, extra-terrestrial sea. The soundtrack completes the immersive experience, with aural elements ranging from waves crashing, to a glitchy 90s sound of dial-up internet connecting over a phone line. There is something reassuring about these sounds and visions, triggered by certain everyday sounds or feelings: soft whispering, hair brushing, a bottle satisfyingly popped open. The process of Schürrer’s practice often begins with a text, an almost lyrical ode to a series of terrifying platitudes, which she juxtaposes with similarly ominous placid images. In I Want To Be Like You she inverts the relationship of subject and object, questioning which one has dominance over which. In this way, she engages philosophically with the age-old subject-object divide. The title of the piece suggests a will to re-materialize ourselves, to feel ourselves more tangible in an increasingly automated world. Notions of efficiency and optimization are increasingly being applied to people and boundaries often become blurry. Through a repetition of visual commercial trends – crisp folded towels, 3D printers and sleek, penile tech gadgets lovingly orbiting themselves – Schürrer reinforces the inherent absurdity of current advertising tropes. Shiny, flowing shampoo-model hair and perfectly formed hen’s eggs meet the words: “time is racing and our hysteria is globalised”. Text by Alison Hugill

Dagmar Schürrer