SQUEEZE MACHINE – FRAGMENTS FROM A WORKSHOP
Plattenvereinigung 2016, June 18th - June 22nd
Squeeze Machine – Fragments From A Workshop is the first installment of the Series and Cycle residency program. I have invited Grischa Lichtenberger, a dear friend, musician and multidisciplinary artist to react to the space of Plattenvereinigung on the Tempelhofer Feld. Here is what Grischa wrote about the project:
The archetype of Temple Grandin's squeeze or hug machine is a cattle crush in which livestock could be calmed down. By fixating its head and pushing its body from the side with two big wings out of steel, in the cage-like construction the animal is not only demobilized, but also pacified. It is similar to the wrappings of linnen that would sometimes calm down a newly born, or similar to a hug we would give to comfort someone near in distress. The invention of the squeeze machine is used to calm hypersensitive persons by providing a continous stable amount of pressure to the whole body. In that regard it is a bit like a blind interface that, instead of enabling communication, speeding it up or progessing its jurisdiction, confines the area of emergence, reduces the spectrum of perception. The force of the machine shifts from an oppressive superiority to providing a realm of intimacy, without overcoming or reducing its authority.
In the installation we built, there are no screws attached, that would fixate the installment in the room. The elements are there by gravity and tension only. If you would losen their relation to their installment, they'd colapse. This is meant as a homage to the architecture, that, by providing a space to hold on, to contain, provides the work with a place, a signature of location, an invisible resisting force that houses – literally.
There is always something untold and invisible in a piece of art that couldn't be expressed finally. Some invisible trace, that is quite similar to that one of the
architectural housing – at least for now, for me it seems to have to do something with home (la demeure). In this invisible in-explicable "field" there lies both fascination and impossible satisfaction: the justice in regard to its retardation; the just, bare and naked thing that guards itself from the shame, the guilty and the unspoken – and shows it still. It is not the restitutional potency that its interpretation could reveal, but the surge/search of their attempt to react adequatly to this invisible-something behind the thing that gives art a certain meaningfull expression.
For some years now Sarah escorted my installative work, not only in helping me with the construction or thinking with me about its meaning and legitimacy, but foremost in a photographic response to the work, with her own artistic approach with the camera. Installation and photography have a long history. It seems as if the often temporary installation needs the photography to document, to preserve. But beyond this i've found a reaction to the receptional question of installative art – how would or should it be read. A photography frames, reduces, but by this surmounts the original with its own charakter and concreteness. But then again only through this material presence it leaves a door open to the things beyond or below the surface. The same accounts within the installative process itself for me. I use somehow idiosyncratic metaphorical systems – relations to my past, to lost places and persons – that i couldn't express adequately. The material has an overcoat of secrets i wouldn't and i couldn't tell – it is their force i want to keep awake by their material manifestation.
We always wanted to try to concentrate on the cyclic process of this relation between installation and photography, in which i would build an installative
object, which Sarah than would photographically response to. I would reintegrate the photography an react again with an installative element and she would do another photograph of this situation and so on and so on. The fragments of this workshop situation we have left now build a metaphorical diorama of this call and response cycle, a series of works, which stay disjointed while led close together, while they are squeezed in housing (to comfort the distressed).
For this first exhibition the upper level of the plattenvereinigung will host different experimental objects and constructions out of wood, foam, moving-blankets and photographies. As an ensemble of work traces they reflect the architectural body and the relation between photography and installational object.