Paul Pfeiffer b. 1966
Goethe's Message to the New Negroes (2002)
Duration: 43"

Goethe’s Message to the New Negroes (2001,2002) takes it’s title from an essay title of Negritude poet and Senegalese President Leopold Senghor. This fact is immaterial to the work. The pieces are a series of investigations that Pfeiffer began with John 3:16, where the ball instead of being a tracking object is a static object while the world spins around. The stated and the implied object of why we watch the spectacle (the game versus the celebrity/hero worship) become objects of spinning meditation like a Jasper Johns target or a traditional mandala. Noting the sculptural element, the moving image screen is thrust away from the wall changing it’s size and scale through proximity. We are so naturally inclined to place ourselves in a stated position from our screens, here the viewer is put in an off putting voyeur mode to examine a video not much bigger than a cell phone, circa the 80’s. Pfeiffer enjoys allowing the viewer’s own body to be juxtaposed against the body in question (or implied body) on the screen. -- Christian Haye