Fighting Windmills

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Addie Wagenknecht

Nguyen Wahed is pleased to present Fighting Windmills of Addie Wagenknecht, an anti-disciplinary, experimental artist, whose work masterfully intertwines technology, privacy, and feminist theory.

Wagenknecht’s provocative first video work from the series Fighting Windmills, pits the artist against herself in a boxing match made possible through deepfake technology. This AI constructed video shows Wagenknecht facing off against a deepfaked doppelgänger of herself in a boxing ring. The title refers to the idiom "fighting windmills", meaning to engage in conflict against an imagined enemy. Though the boxing match, the artist fights herself, the conceptual implications of the work cutting to the core of identity and self-perception.

On one level, Fighting Windmills can be seen as a tongue-in-cheek experiment in absurdity and fakery, as Wagenknecht “fights herself” in a simulated match. However, the work also serves as a metaphor for the internal struggles and conflicts we all face in trying to know ourselves. The boxing ring becomes an arena where the artist grapples with her own identity and sense of self. Do we truly know or understand ourselves, or is our self-perception shaped by artificial constructs?

Wagenknecht’s use of deepfake technology suggests the malleability of identity, while the absurd premise of fighting an imagined version of oneself speaks to the universal challenge of achieving self-understanding. With Fighting Windmills, Wagenknecht deftly probes existential questions through the lens of technology, artificiality, and self-perception.

Addie Wagenknecht's work blends conceptual art with forms of hacking and gestural abstraction. She has exhibited at institutions including Whitechapel Gallery, Centre Pompidou and The New Museum NYC, and has collaborated with Whitney Museum of American Art, CERN, Chanel, and Google’s Art Machine Intelligence Group. She has been a fellow at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center and Culture Lab UK, and was Mozilla's first Open(art) Fellow.

Interview: Addie Wagenknecht on identity, self-criticism, and the self-sabotage



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