inhale. deflate

Photo, Text, Deflateable

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play-sharp-fill

I am the stone inside the plastic foil. Ripped out of my original state of being, covered up in a transparent foil, put back in place, separated from my nature and all the other stones and living individuals around me. Doomed to be in this world, but not able to connect to the loved ones around me anymore. Trapped in the cage, but forced to see how everything around me changes, evolves and connects. The outer world looks at me, while I am entrapped and alienated from it. The plastic foil may feel like a shelter from time to time, but most times it feels like a boundary, forced on me in order to be segregated from the world I live in. I hope it would be possible to free myself from this solitude, to reunite with the vibrant social environment of the other stones around me, be part of it, share and feel cared about. I wish the other stones would want me back in their lives and start fighting for me as well.

 

inhale. deflate is an artwork that explores the depths of human emotions, as well as it raises the question of how much we can empathize the perspective of another human being. It brings up the question of social isolation and how to deal with in in art, but yet also how to communicate it to someone else, who has barely felt this feeling before. How can we grow together and have more compassion for each other? Art has the superpower to communicate emotions in a very direct and intuitive way, and at the same time in a total metaphorical way. It asks questions while leaving all the answers to the beholder. It is unique, universal, independent and individual at the same time. 

Through presenting inhale. deflate to a wider public by exhibiting this artwork at the Angewandte Festival 2023, I found out, that many people perceive and experience this artwork in various ways. By interacting with it, and being deflated, a lot of visitors felt embraced by the vacuumed plastic foil. And therefore I asked myself, how does this comply with my work? I figured, that people rather feel embraced and sheltered that isolated in the foil. And then I discovered another facet of this whole experience. I wondered, if it is the personal freedom to choose, whether to be inside or outside the foil, that makes these different experiences. And what would it mean, to not have this freedom of choice? What would it mean to people if the cannot choose to be outside of the foil. What if they would feel entrapped in it? Would it still be pleasurable for them? I mean, I never wanted to make the visitor feel uncomfortable with my artwork. And I didn’t want to force social isolation to them. In the end I figured, that the whole artwork including the postcard and the photograph and the text I wrote, people do get the whole experience, and through the comfortable moment in the vacuumed plastic foil, they were open to perceive the photograph and read the text, and reflect on their experience with the artwork. Through many talks with the visitors, I gained a lot of insight on the human perception and emotions and therefore felt a lot of compassion and empathy from them and for them. All in all I would describe inhale. deflate as a wholesome experience for the visitors, but yet for myself as well.

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