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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.









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