Character Assassination, 2017
Commissioned by Akademie der Künste der Welte
Cologne, Germany

Filmed live at Volksbühne am Rudolfplatz, 18 April 2017

Review: Jennifer Krasinski, Absolute Fabulist, Artforum, May 2017

Performance and 60 min video

Character Assassination is a TV show in which YOU, the audience, are hoisted and smeared by the fumes from your own data trails. Welcome to the hazy, new world of alternate facts and hybrid media wars, where anybody can be hacked, any source can be tainted. It doesn’t matter what you say or think – what matters is how it all looks in a certain yellow light. All your social network friends and followers are in on the conspiracy, everybody is guilty and there is no definitive proof of innocence, unless you’re made of Teflon. But Teflon is made of carbon and fluorine, which is also yellow. Taking the form of a satirical TV news program, and mixing muckraking, muckfarming, and good old-fashioned mucking about, the show refracts the base, authoritarian tactics of eroding democracies, and skewers the post-fact quicksand we’re presently drowning in. If the real self has been overwritten by the fake self, then why not treat the fake self as a speculative fiction with twenty different heads, each trying to outdo the other?

Concept and direction: Michael Portnoy
Writing by Dan Fox and Michael Portnoy

Music by Pete Drungle
Dancers: Ayberk Essen and Marje Hirvonen
Warm-up act: Janina Warnk