solo show @sonneundsolche, Duesseldorf, march 2020

“Feel the worms and lick the light”

Text: Philip Wiehagen

„Leftlovers“ is devoted to the devices that women, men and all the beautiful genders can use to expand their erotic bodies and indulge in sensual self-reference. The „leftlovers“ are the leftover things of a love act, which were not only used, but also active. They were lovers. They are actors with an ancient tradition when they arrived, scanned and unpacked in the exhibition space. The scans not only show possible ways of using the toys, they also make the lust spirits attached to things visible, which probably fizzled out when the boxes were opened. These spirits are always attached to the things when they are not being examined, precisely when they are not in the tension-filled space of visibility and touch. In the circumstances of such an exhibition, for example, no space is given to their activity. Instead, it is transformed into a potential that we owe thanks to modern technology and, above all art, for its representation and its own presence here. It is a cautious broadening of objectivity that otherwise requires us to think of potentiality only in its networked pathways. So it is difficult to say what role the lust spirits play in matters of love and lust. They can stand for the very different and vague reasons for acts of pleasure. The exhibition does not conjure them up, only taps them off step by step to give them a place in the perception.

When informed of this, the exhibition can be recognized as different human practices that are interleaved and fill the space with their own devices to stimulate pleasure: is this an exhibition under construction? A warehouse with „fresh“ delivery? The archive of a museum? The place of manufacture? Or are porn films made here? After all, there is a video projected on the easily washable plastic foil in skin colored pink , which shows hands testing the toys in a shadow play. The hands rub, poke and feel the parts in the light, while a kind of „moaning opera“ sounds out of the boxes. The place of the most aggressive visualization and at the same time being untouchable – the showcase – exhibits even more ways of dealing with the dildo worms: Here they seem to be sucking on the pane again, but also falling dead from the table. They curl up on the ground in the sand, which may be the remains of their excavation site, but also cannot keep them alive. In the white light of the neon tube, in total visibility, things don’t seem to be doing well. Here they are tested for their artistic potential by holding them on large violet paper webs – as the last witness of the skin-colored spectrum that made the other room cozy – in front of the white of the wall and with them to a modern relief that always evades salvation , merge. In the room with the projection, cardboard boxes and scans, as in a photo laboratory, everything was carefully removed, which has already been transformed into the ether of visibility, away from meat and touch. If you look closely, you can see that things are dying in the beautiful reliefs or have already died. This aesthetic compression of the sausages seems just as desperate as it is ingenious as a reaction to ultimately missing information. So far it can be said that the exhibition negotiates and examines “touch” in different presentation levels. To what extent one can still be touched without actual contact, but via appropriate presentation mechanisms. Erotic touch proves here, as the constantly wavering provocation of human bodies, that the affects cannot be dissected and provokes further through their representations: the erotic-material affection makes the pleasure garden so colorful and it causes that you feel turned on by the „groan opera“ and that you want to feel the worms and lick the light. The question arises whether the exhibition itself, which transforms the space here into an alternative reality, could be an emphatic way of dealing with the spirits / affects / potentials. The translation of artistic artefacts creates a human living space that is permeated with the reflective, multimedia – groping discourse of erotic touch.

In the showcase, right at the front and facing the street, there is another video work installed that runs on a television. It serves as a kind of business card for the exhibition and, so to speak, introduces the entire work. The work, following the call of archaic things, following the call for touch, again shows hands that caress different prehuman skulls, explore them by groping. The video image of this scenery is framed by a large, colored area that changes color in time. With it do the parts of the fingernail polish and the skull. As perverse as the sensuality between man and pre-human may seem here, this „perversion“ may be drowned out by the hyperpolarized color. The result is a clinical condition that transports the touch to a non-cosmopolitan place, where it loses some crucial traceability: the colors on the fingers and the skull mark, as in the case of a gamut warning, something that affects both the hand, the skull and the viewers of the video who lack touch information. Even the two touching elude the touch as an informative file format.

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