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the fat dictionary

interactive media installation

Fettes Wörterbuch (The Fat Dictionary) is an interactive which can also be used as an interactive dictionary. The pictures of fat bodies and body parts are brought together with the words, which either have the meaning of "fat" or are used to call fat people in eight different languages and furthermore inform about the etymology of the words. What is happening if you look from an artistic point of view into the linguistic, historical and social anthropological implementations of “being fat”? The models and interlocutors are asked to name adjectives of their mother tongue, which describe “being fat” in the concrete and metaphorical sense. The photos are functioning almost like a scientific document. This purposeful irritation refers to the untenability of the clear-cut categorization and encourages the skepticism about stereotypes. Different questions taked the centre stage during this artistic working process:

What kind of connotations does “being fat” have within the different social communities and cultures?
How are the fat people socially described?
How does the process of stigmatization and self-stigmatization of the fat people running?
What kind of symbols and metaphors are used to describe the “fat”?
What about the roots of words? What kind of an etymological relation do the languages have with each other?