Piero Steinle ... conducts us in his multiple video installation to a 'panopticum' of laughter. The Old and the Young are laughing, the Indians, the Japanese and the Europeans, they are laughing alone and in groups, they laugh especially, when there is nothing to laugh about. What in the beginning is contagiously amusing becomes surreptitiously oppressive. The laughter culminates during its ecstatic moments in an impressive borderline experience between pleasure and pain.

Angelika Affentranger-Kirchrath, NZZ (Neue Z├╝richer Zeitung), sept.14, 2006

"1-2-3-LAUGH" is a video installation with 8 synchronized projections. 19 chapters compose a universal panorama of laughter. The spectator plunges into a world in which laughter seems to be the normal condition of being. The dislocation from the usual serious everyday life to a reality dominated by laughter is spontaneously perceived as a pleasurable and liberating experience.

But at a certain point this continous shift will become unbearable. As it is well known the arcaic ingredients of laughter originate from situations of insecurity, tension and aggression. The uneasiness is also caused by the fact that the laughing is taking place without any particular cause. The laughter 'for no reason' provocates a sublime contrast to the common idea of laughter as sincere, spontaneous 'natural' expression. The focus on laughter itself isolates the purely physical aspects (contractions, grimaces, showing one's teeth, fits of choking, bursting into tears, grunting, gargling, gasping....) and reveals its ecstatic and uncivilized dimension.

Piero Steinle

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