‘The Last Man Standing’ is an immersive, audio-visual spectacle created by Craig Johnson and Sebastian Ziegler. This short video was created as the final presentation of their graduating thesis.
Seven people gather into the enclosure of the standing space – the spectacle commences. The participants are exposed to visual and audible material, where the narrative of which is controlled by the participants themselves. As the participants become weary of the repetitive exposure and begin to leave, the remaining participants become aware that by leaving the spectacle they change the spectacle for those who remain. By leaving the space they allow the spectacle to develop further. They do this, however, with the knowledge that this will result in the spectacle becoming more intense for the other participants, but frees themselves from becoming subject to that intensity. Alternatively, they leave the space to free themselves from the enduring pain of the spectacle, but relinquish their position and the chance to see and understand the spectacle in its entirety.
Part endurance, part psychological experiment, ‘The Last Man Standing’ examines the limits of peoples endurance and the social boundaries they are willing to cross in the context of an artistic installation. While the spectacles material questions our predetermined social speculations and ideologies, ‘The Last Man Standing’ is also a comment on the spectacle of art itself – how long are the beholders of art willing to subject themselves to the insane ambiguity of it? The only participant who has a real understanding of the spectacle in its entirety, fulfilling the experience, is the last man standing.
‘The Last Man Standing’ creates a framework of evolution for future projects – allowing the spectacle to question further issues in different contexts.