Now - A volatile sculpture

"If you don't move, you don't feel paralysis. - Paralysis is only felt when you reach the limits of your mobility. "

The artist Eva Brenner confronts the state of paralysis and how to overcome it in her work "Now". As a wheelchair user, she experiences paralysis in her own body, through spatial barriers, social attributions, non-participation and exclusion.

Being trapped in this situation, she visualises it in her work "Now", through the obscure mass of a 10m x 10m net made of fragmented X-rays and its performative mirroring. X-ray images illuminate the human body whenever its intactness is questioned. At the same time, waiting for the developed X-ray image is associated with the hope of healing. An X-ray image shows the inside of a human being only in sections. Following this logic, the fragmented photographs of the inside of the body are further dissected, cut into 4cm x 4cm squares and linked with eyelets and ribbons to form a 100 square metre network. The diagnosis fixed on the X-ray image is thus deprived of its threat by this fragmentation - just as the disease is deprived of its meaning. The X-ray image as a material is reduced to its grey values, light and dark contrasts or its ornamental quality. Through this unorthodox treatment, the actually stiff material undergoes a transformation into mobility, from two-dimensionality into three-dimensionality. The newly created fabric oscillates between sculpture, stage design and costume, shimmers between opaque and diaphanous.

Performative realisation

The artist is part of the sculpture, wrapped in this net material, like in a cocoon. The net covers, camouflages and protects her, but at the same time its weight prevents her from moving. The goal is, with the help of walking sticks, to reach a bronze plate lying on the floor - a sounding body on whose surface the graphic of the audio signal for the word "Now" is engraved. With the sound of the hollow-sounding plate, the concrete moment, the "Now" is marked. The "Now" as the moment in which freedom is possible.

The artist fights her way out of the net sculpture, pulling the fabric behind her like a huge protective cloak until its mass holds her back. A squadron of transport drones breaks through this stagnation, like a "deus ex machina". The squadron of drones picks up the net, frees the artist from its burden and elevates it into a canopy over the sounding body. The artist is stripped of her protective cloak and exhibited in her paralysis (cf. Joseph Beuys "Zeige deine Wunde" (“Show your wound”, translator’s note)).

When the bronze plate is stepped on, the sound is heard: "The Now" is heralded. The moment from which on everything can become different.

The drones carry the net away like a flying carpet…