At Arm's Length: Video Installation

Vienna (AT) / Installation development for the Vienna premiere of Philipp Gehmacher and Vladimir Miller‘s video installation ‘At Arm’s Length’ / Installation development / April 2010


At Arm's Length: Video Installation

April 2010

Leopold Museum, Vienna


Art Related / Cultural / Civic , Design, Exhibitions / Installations / Performances

Vienna (AT)


In ‘At Arm’s Length’, Philipp Gehmacher and Vladimir Miller interweave the themes of affection and control, independence and dependence in a large-scale video installation. In a room constructed for the camera, five people are choreographed who need and take one another in the experience of mutual cooperation in order to get from one side of the room to the other.

In his stage work Philipp Gehmacher has repeatedly concerned himself with the interpersonal space and the distance between two or more bodies. How can my arm reach out to the other and a possible contact with the other body take place? How much distance from each other must two bodies maintain in order not to permit the friendly proximity to become personal?

The performers move to the edge of the picture, as if the stage ended there, and mark the future absence of the space in the portrayal. Their gestures show the picture as a transparent boundary of contact. They are aware of their diagrammatic placing in the room-picture, in which two reference structures of the bodies overlap and complete one another, and through the camera-eye reach into the future of their perception into the presence of the spectators. In the break with the format, ‘At Arm’s Length’ is a further study in the cooperation between Philipp Gehmacher and Vladimir Miller to make the incomprehensibility of the image physically experienceable for the spectator. What does the contact between two bodies in the picture mean? The positioning between surrender to the camera and negotiating with it?

On Wednesday 21 April the Tanzquartier Wien Studios presented an artists’ discussion with Philipp Gehmacher, Vladimir Miller and Friedrich Tietjen (professor of the theory and the history of photography at the Leipzig University for Graphic Arts and Printing).


Concept, video and installation
Philipp Gehmacher, Vladimir Miller

Philipp Gehmacher

Philipp Gehmacher, Yannick Guédon, An Kaler, Sabile Rasiti, Venke Sortland

Camera and lighting
Leena Koppe

Camera assistance:
Judith Benedikt

Günther Bernhard production

Petra Herglotz, Katharina Hager von Strobele

Martina Knoll

Installation development
Gonzalez Haase / AAS


Philipp Gehmacher / Mumbling Fish

Tanzquartier Wien.
Philipp Gehmacher / Mumbling Fish is supported by the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna