About the End of Grand Narratives

4 Channel Videoinstallation, Stefan Baltensperger, 2012



“About the End of Grand Narratives” is a deconstruction of male stereotypes. The work inquires into popular ikons of masculinity, and provokes the questioning of contemporary identification of “Man”.

The video-installation shows four trenchant snapshots from eminent films, which are played in infinite loops. The heroic scenes have moved, impressed and captured the imaginations of countless individuals around the world. Baltensperger breaks the moment of the representation open, and extends it endlessly. The narrative is ruptured and perception shifts to the protagonists. The clearly identified characters are opened to doubt, and new associations may be formed.

The title of the work is in reference to Jean-Francis Lyotard, who identified the end of the Grand Narratives – such as Religion, Ideology and Progress – as characteristics of a Post-Modern Society. In present times the narrative surrounding gender roles is also being dissolved. Baltensperger combines image and theory, and asks which forms of gender identification might be acceptable in the future.


Image: Installation view @ House of electronic arts, Basel, 2012