Lars Zumbansen

X and Directional Button UP

A Videoloop about "Tomb Raider"




This work turns Lara Croft, heroine of the popular Tomb Raider game series, into a modern-day Sisyphus. In the video loops, Lara – who went from game character to become a much discussed media phenomenon with her own series of films in the nineteen-nineties – attempts again and again to overcome an obstacle or pull herself up onto a ledge. Again and again she slips and has to start again. The enigmatic title "X and Directional Button UP" explains how the work was created: Lars Zumbansen locked the "X" and "UP" control keys of the Playstation game console with a screw-clamp in such a way that Lara, the virtual marionette, is always doomed to fail to overcome the barrier in front of her. Hence, the work focuses on the moment of failure that the player tries to avoid, thereby morphing the linear order of the game into an almost meditative vicious circle. Lars Zumbansen: "Public perception is aimed… at Lara’s iconicity, her surface that signifies ‘femaleness’… However, the repetitive sequence of actions and the protagonist’s (titanic) tenacity reveal the automaton-like nature of the computer game icon beneath the anthropomorphic façade."
(Tilman Baumgärtel)

Artists / Authors


Germany, 2000-2002


, Apr 13, 2004