When She Came Out Of The Bathroom   Austria   1991


"When She Comes Out Of The Bathroom" the name of a music piece by the Viennese experimental band Pas Paravant and a video of the band member Renate Kocer-Kowanz. The musicians probably improvised, - R. Kocer was the only woman in the group for10 years - while she stepped out of the bath: a potential title. Coincidental, spontaneous. In further uses the quasi casual becomes, through the Pas Paravant-ish weight, spontaneously an elite manifestation. The nature of improvisation and process are examined through accurate processing and assigned an importance, the occasion is adequate to declare life an art form.

The open group was formed 1980, and the public presentation of the video was at the same time a part of the last live of appearance the band. In Pas Paravant's pieces acoustics, video, performance, painting and literature merge: everything is poetry. Since its forming at the beginning of the 80's, Pas Paravant functioned as an artist union, rather than a classical band, and attempted to once again, after Fluxus and Popart, to remove barriers between different fields in the arts.

So the video is neither music video, or dance video, although Renate Kocer Kowanz dances to music in the video. Renate Kocer-Kowanz's works are, if one wants to classify them, rather Video Performances. In her earlier works, video had mostly a documentary character, although the clip also determined the content - by cutting off or concentrating on individual body parts. In "When She Comes Out Of the Bathroom" movements are ordered sequentially. Parts of the body and snatches of her arms, Renate Kowanz-Kocer never shows her whole body in her videos; the camera is predominantly fixed on her torso, she never recognizably shows us her face.

Not only does the continuous loop give us the feeling of a never-ending dance, but above all the dynamic editing, lets the movement continue by an apparently imaginary strength: the body is a machine, which is propelled by music. This machine-like is further supported by an analog "keying" of the same scene and the resulting video graphic delay. The movement experiences a copy. Arms, face and hair dance in a singular sequences deceiving our eyes like the light of a torch/flare, which is moved quickly in the darkness. Kowanz-Kocer achieves with this effect an almost pictorial demise of the video image and stills from the video remind of paintings by Maria Lassnig or Georg Baselitz.
The video was shown at the Media Art Festival "Transformer 1991" in St.Veit on the Glan (curators Hemma Schmutz and Herwig Turk). This not only brought (media) art into the shop windows in a small city in Carinthia, but also involved resident manufacturing plants and companies which became locations for symposiums or performances. Thus Pas Paravant played and performed in a stage construction, which was arranged by the group of artists in one the plants and built in co-operation with the staff of the factory.

The path of the viewer through the labyrinth-like structure ended either in front of monitors installed with earphones - which showed the video by Renate Kowanz-Kocer - or in a sector in front of a circular surface in the midst of the interlocked path: the actual stage. The musicians played " the beat must go on " for 90 minutes.

Through the stage construction the musicians achieved an optimal resonance of the labyrinth within different paths to the acoustic source. All the musicians played, so to say, into a funnel, into a possible path out of the "stage". The acoustics of the sound changed with the position of the viewer. The video "When She Comes Out Of the Bathroom " is a part of the performance, and served as labyrinth in the labyrinth: The beat must go on, when she comes out of the bathroom. (Suess)



transformator, St.Veit/Glan (K), Austria


10min stereo color PAL

Technical protocol

U-Matic HB (Highband), Luminanz-Key (Mechanical maschine built by Karl Kowanz). Master: U-Matic HB

Produced together with

Karl Kowanz (camera); Pas Paravant: Karl Kowanz, Renate Kowanz-Kocer, Wolfgang Poor, Günter Schrom, ManfreDu Schu, Wolfgang Stengl, Hans Weigand (Music)


Renate Kowanz-Kocer


Transformator, Medienkunstfestival St. Veit an der Glan/Land Kärnten; Funder-Werke, St. Veit an der Glan


Renate Kowanz-Kocer

Copy to see

Medienkunstarchiv Wien