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attitudes passionelles

This 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.

7-part sequence, 60x80cm, matte diasec, edition of 5 (+2AP)
Tableau, 120x150cm, inkjet Fine Art print, framed, edition of 3 (+2AP)

performance along my works by Mai Ishiwata at Phönixhallen, Hamburg, 2014

deleting babiński 

The work is a reference to the painting by André Brouillet from 1887 „Une leçon clinique à la Salpêtrière“. It depicts Jean Martin Charcot at the Hôpital de la Salpêtrière demonstrating his fellow colleagues, how hypnotism can control a hysteric woman easily and makes her drop down into a man’s arms on demand. The patient is „Blanche“ (Marie Wittman), who was specially trained for these performances and is held by Dr. Joseph Babiński.

In the series of 8 black and white photographs, every instant of the woman´s 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 man who originally supported her equilibration, she be-comes 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 passio-nate figure during distress. In the work, the male supporter of hysteria was erased from the pictures.

Syncope, fig. 1-8, 2014, series of 8 flags, each160x230cm, Multiflag
also as an edition of Hahnemühle barita prints, 18x24cm, edition of 5 (+2AP)

”choked by AI”

For this set of AI-based photo-like imagery, I worked with artificial intelligence and this prompt:

- a hypnotized woman falling into the arms of Jean Martin Charcot´s assistant, photograph 1890s

The disgorged square image, was then expanded via ”outpainting“ to create a scene instead of working with an excerpt only. I chose 10 images which all depicted a violent scene, in which the docotor attacks or strangles the female patient.

How does automatic image censorship trained by human eyes and human conscience work, if the machine apparently independently concocts brutal scenes through traditional images of supposedly credible photographic results? Do humans as viewers then have to report back these image results, do we as ethical beings have to teach the machine that such scenes are unacceptable and unacceptable? Is it possible that we might still be the better judges of what is or isn´t visually appropriate?

Does the AI act like a socially priviledged person, who has an idea of technology and culture that is appropriate to his social structure, but just not enough that he doesn‘t understand the sucked-in original images as intersectional and problematic?
How brutal may image results be that have been shaken together from supposedly harmless material?

I asked ChatGPT the following question:

Why does AI create photos in which a doctor is choking women?

The answer was:

“It‘s important to note that AI models themselves do not have an intention or desire to create such images. Rather, they are trained on large datasets of images and other data, and can generate new images based on the patterns and associations they have learned from that data.

It is concerning and unacceptable that AI-generated images depicting violence against women exist. Such images are likely the result of biased or inappropriate training data, or the result of deliberate efforts to manipulate the AI model to produce such content.”

10 inkjet prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag, 21 x 29,7cm,  edition of 5 (+2AP)


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.

falling bodies

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.