For her pre-diploma project, Juliane Schmitt directed a five-minute music video based on her song Peppermint. The song, which was released under her pseudonym Smittness, is an open love letter that deals with a missed chance and reflects on a person whose heart appears closed. It describes a scent of peppermint floating around the desired body, so strong that it acts like a repellant – an armor of exaggerated nonchalance to shield oneself from others in the hope of being rendered less vulnerable.

Peppermint is often associated with feelings of cool- and freshness and the colours blue or green. Capitalizing on its organic as well as metaphoric qualities, the beauty, food, and advertising industries utilize the plant’s image, flavour, and main active ingredient menthol for a range of products such as candied “mints”, mouthwash, deodorant, and other, often feminized, body care and cleansing commodities – all meant to help conceal natural processes happening within the human body. More freshness ergo more attractiveness, more sexiness or so the equation goes.

In the video, this logic is flipped. It depicts the process of candy being made out of bodily fluids such as blood, sweat, and saliva – all coloured synthetic blue. Using spa aesthetics and the sterile look of a laboratory, it creates images that conjure up feelings of disgust. The action is loosely set in a pedicure place where little fish eat dead skin cells off one’s feet. There, beauty treatments – and even more so the underlying business – reveal their propensity for the absurd.

Camera/helping hands: Jana Hofmann, Joanne Dietz, Felix Köder

Supervision: Prof. Rebecca Stephany, Prof. Ivan Weiss & Prof. Michael Kryenbühl