Zöllner Singen / Singing Customs Officers



French, Italian, German, and Austrian customs officers each sing their respective country’s national anthem in front of checkpoints leading to Switzerland, which shares a border with each country. These songs were videotaped for a work exhibited in Switzerland. Jankowski decided that only upon entering Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, would the videotapes constitute an artwork.
In addition, the financial value of the video composition increased dramatically when it was subjected to duties by the singers’ Swiss colleagues and had the accompanying customs document added to it. The final artwork consists of that paper and the four videos playing simultaneously on a pedestal in the shape of the Swiss cross. The work reveals and plays off art’s embedment in a network of relationships including trade, international relations, and the existence of geographical boundaries.



zollner 4_Fotor

zollner 3_Fotor


Four-channel video installation (1 Digital Betacam, 4 VHS), 1: 47 min (France), 1:02 min (Italy), 1:22min (Germany), 1:40 min (Austria), PAL, 4:3, color, sound, edition of 4, I