attitudes passionellesThis work in an homage to Paul Richer's "Tableau de la synoptique grande attaque hystérique complète et régulière' positions typiques et avec variant"' from 1885. It is a graphical clinical tableau modelled on Jean Martin Charcot's photographs.
It shows the various stages of a hysterical attack on the example bodily demonstrations of a young woman. The "real" photographs in the drawings were modified to fit the panel and still the panel was officially considered as clinical evidence of the symptoms of a disease that no one could actually define. The "real" hysterical attacks, performed by actors which followed instructions, and then photographically "documented".
What I find particularly fascinating while looking at various photographs from the late nineteenth century, is the obviousness that hysterical women almost exclusiveley suffered their hysteria on mattresses.
In these pictures, the mattress is always a kind of counterpart of the actual patient. Especially in Rummos photographs, which in turn were intended as an homage to Charcot, the mattress gets a life of its own under the acrobatic efforts of the woman in the striped one piece. It seems as if the mattress imitates the hysterical attacks.
In my tribute to Paul Richer's work, the mattress alone becomes hysterical.
performance along my works by Mai Ishiwata at Phönixhallen, Hamburg, 2014
The series of 8 black and white images show a young woman during fainting. They are cutouts from original photographs, in which she was held by a man, who is now reased except for his arms. As ostensible extra body parts, they cling to her body and turn her into an amorphous figure.Every instant of her fall into unconsciousness is frozen and fused into a sculptural figure by isolating her body.
Her poses seem stiff, but are taken out of a transient movement, which result in a state of exhaustion and complete powerlessness. By deleting the the man who originally supported her equilibration, she becomes a statue of imbalance in balance. During her state of unconsciousness, she presents herself solely as the fainting woman and refers to the images of fainting women in the arms of a man at antipodes. The history of hysteria and its imagery of affliction created a certain image of the woman as the passionate figure during distress.
Jean-Martin Charcot presented fainting women in the amphitheatre of the Salpêtrière in front of his colleagues. My work refers to the famous painting by André Broullet from 1887, in which Charcot holds an unconscious female patient, only that I deleted the male supporter of hysteria in the pictures.
Created as a cinematic monodrama, the work hysterogeny shows various stages of emotional expression, from total withdrawal to a hysterical outburst in a few moments. A naked girl is lying on the tiles in a large room shower. The hint of a wet cell in an institution is intended.
Hysterogeny is a term, which refers to the induction of hysterical behavior.
By slowing down the film, the screams, the howling, the laughter are protracted, and become sirenlike undefined sounds. This drama is irritating and annoying, just like your would describe a hysterical girl. The reason for this hysterical eruption remains hidden, but at the beginning of the loop, it becomes clear that it the action is staged but then she gets completely absorbed in the action.
As part of a performance, I asked several people during a residency in Istanbul to fall on to a mattress for me.
I photographed the rather uncoordinated movements, that serve as a starting point for my further "case studies" arranged these poses as pairs to create a balance.
The instantaneous materialisation of fleeting bodies depict a state of uncertainty, a process of becoming and breaking apart and consequently shape-shifting into momentarily frozen sculptures.
Dompteuse de Papier
The photographic series shows eight separate moments in which a Din-A-4 paper is shown at the moment of landing.
In the experiment with a conventional blank white page, a short-lived, momentary pose was captured. The blank sheet itself becomes a sculptural work. My interest primarily lies in the momentary, short-lived shape, caught in the act between letting go and landing.
The recurring hand, reminiscent of a puppet show, directs the sheet, which performs a failed pointe dance in 7 pictures and only perfectly presents it in one of them.
The quite fragile material, which can normally fall over or fly away at any moment, becomes a rather cumbersome subject in the photographs.