'Diamond Prox [Teen Spirit Island]', 2015, Inkjet Print, 60 x 80 cm 'Diamond Prox [Teen Spirit Island]', 2015, Inkjet Print, 60 x 80 cm 'DreamHack [TEEN SPIRIT ISLAND]', 2015, HD Videoloop, 16:9, 8:35 min 'DreamHack [TEEN SPIRIT ISLAND]', 2015, HD Videoloop, 16:9, 8:35 min 'Irelia – the Will of the Blades [TEEN SPIRIT ISLAND]', 2016, wallpaper print, 200x300 cm 'Irelia – the Will of the Blades [TEEN SPIRIT ISLAND]', 2016, wallpaper print, 200x300 cm
RijksakademieOPEN 2016

Joscha Steffens dives into subcultures and communities that aestheticize violence and power. Employing a documentary visual language, in TEEN SPIRIT ISLAND he photographically captures the superstars of the world’s biggest online game who perform in stadiums packed with cheering fans.

In other works Steffens presents groups of men simulating extremely competitive situations of war. This takes place in closed encampments where military actions take their toll both physically and psychologically, and cannot be distinguished from real – except for the plastic bullets. Another form of war staging concerns brotherly gatherings doused in alcohol. The uniforms of SS cult fanatics seem as authentic as their mindset, which takes them deeper into the ideology of Hitler’s elite troops.

Recently Steffens has started making TOTAL RECALL, a project featuring these soldiers as actors. He has written a historically correct sci-fi script that at the same time departs from a imaginary proposition. This way he, like the gamers and weekend warriors, creates a uncanny and realistic fiction situated within our contemporary world. (VV)