Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Psychose blanche

Psychose blanche
Mixed media /sculpture
Fiberglass (Surf-Tec), white powder, wood, plexi glass

The work “Psychose blanche”(White psychosis) was especially made for the exhibition with the theme “Miami” in the Hudson Museum in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The show was curated by the Dutch artist Jeroen Kuster as being a new group exhibition of Tupajumi (international artist network), an initiatives of cross border working artists that organize exhibitions for each other in their various home countries.
The name “Miami” immediately went along with the association created by the TV series “Miami Vice” that was first broadcasted in Germany in 1986 and was a blockbuster for every 14 year old (like me at that time). The term vice is phonetically almost like the German word weiß (white) or Ich weiß (I know) and innocently I always assumed it to mean either one of them.
It certainly triggered an association with Cocaine that was often the issue in the plot and after the movies like Scarface or Blow and Cocaine Cowboys everybody knew that in the 80th the city of Miami was in drug frenzy. Columbian coke was pumped into the city and clashed with ex ile cubans syndicates, leading to Cocaine wars of 1980 and gave Miami the image of the most lucrative and deadly place in the world. Many sources claim that the foundation of this glamorous city as we perceive it today has been built on clean washed- drug related money from the old days. Throughout the last years there has been spectacular drug busts involving American airplanes, loaded with up to 5.5 tons of cocaine. (To read about, check out the US-Journalists Garry Webb Rip and Daniel Hopsicker)
The concept behind this work was a combination of the former mentioned topics and the” tag”applied to it, -“Psychose blanche”.
In the beginning I was tempted to work with the wings of the most notorious drug trafficking airplanes in use, especially the DC-9`s, lately often mentioned in the news. Later on I went for a sort of combination of wingtip of a crashed airplane/ shark dorsal fin that I am very satisfied with. Like the wing gliding through air is the visible element of an aircraft, it mirrors the fin of a sea dwelling counterfeits that emerges shortly to display its prominent and most recognized part to the outer world.
In a way it let me escape from all the conspiracy-political sites into a realm where I could think more freely about associated terms like whiteness-emtiness. The term “Psychose blanche” (French)- The white psychosis, as term originates from the field of psychiatric studies. It is used to describe a situation in witch an individual (often caused by excessive cocaine abuse), faces an overpowering confrontation with its absolute inner vacuum. (The fear of emptiness- Horror vacui).
Talking about the void it turns out that there is a great amount of writing on this Topic. J.P.Satre unfolds the human existence on the blanket of the void. Christian and Islamic Theologies teach us about the creation out of nothingness. (Creatio ex nihilo)
In the written philosophy of painting we find a great amount of artist that dealt with the fear of blankness, or white surfaces. Ehrenzweig (Kleiniase School of Psychoanalysis) himself created the rather cool term o f” low level vision of unconsciousness scanning” He defines this term by a process in which a painter seems to be starring into nothingness. This emptiness enables him to generate visual images, a powerful tool because it enables him unconsciously to gather visual and associative knowledge by scanning an empty surface. Empty ness can be found in a Buddhist monk that concentrates himself onto calligraphy. He tries to shot himself off against the agile intensity of thought to make the right brushstroke. Emptiness is a void in witch writers loose their course. Emptiness that creates new meaning. Herman Hesse said that “The will to think has to be enabled, abstact art as a modern form of mystic, as a sacral experience ha to be rooted in the feeling of emptiness.” Fuller describes whiteness as blankness and suggests that we can experience whiteness either as abyss in which we get sucked in and loose ourselves, but also as Blanc surface on which new. Ideas and forms generate from.


Plastic protectors from various sport uniforms, aluminum, LCD screen
& Combination with the media work Contest of epilogues
Programming based 3D animation, 9 min loop

Competitiveness is always bound up with death- in a sense it deals with what happens after death. In the Iliad- the first sporting contest to be described --we can find this element most prominently.
Within the unraveling tale the protagonist Achilles honors his brother in arms Patrokolos, that
had been killed in the battles of the Trojan War. Achilles organizes the games in memory of his friend and accordantly to this everything is measured in terms of the deceased. Achilles hands out prizes and gifts honoring Patrokoles and in fact organized the whole event in order to force everyone for a time to use Patrokoles itself as system for measurement of its own inconsolableness.

The sculpture Patroklos now sits silent and contemplating-staring at the video screen, and while the reason of his lifelong performance came to a screeching hold, his activity still continues behind reason. Deprived by life he can now start to play for real, with no further need of awards, he has no need of anything except for the dark defining lines that coordinate his epilogue.
In the projected 3D animation the dead players are animated to endlessly run on field without purpose. The characteristics of a game have vanished. There are no rules, no ball, not even a team, just a tireless activity of performance.

The programming based animation has been created in collaboration with the finish media artist Ilpo Jäskilainen.

Contest of epilogues

Contest of epilogues
Programming based computer animation
9 min, looped DVD- or in infinite variation mode in connection a computing system

I am a great admirer of the writings of the Russian artists Yuri Leyderman, which himself tends to
regard sport as a spiritual field of human activity and has been writing a lot concerning this subject. I was inspired by his writings regarding the creation and concept behind this animation.
The following quote is a extract from Leydermans text “Dead teams”, which was published in the collection Imena elektrokov (Names of the electrons, 1997) -“Football teams die in airplane disaster”, writes Leyderman. “-Its common to say of all sudden death that it is senseless; but can you really call senseless the death of an entire football team? Is there not here a hint of some gleaming victory, an aftertaste of an exact hitting of a mark, the click made by a possibility slamming shut…?”

(Add. Info-Airplane Crash- English Manchester United in 1940, Russian Pakhtakor-Tashkent in 1978, African Zambia national Team in 1993) White -yellow –black. Ironic?

In the projected 3D animation the deceased team is resurrected to endlessly run on field without purpose. The characteristics of a game have vanished. There are no rules, no ball, not even a team, just a tireless activity of performance.
The animation “ Contest of epilogues”-was produced for the Exhibition Performance principle at Muu Gallery in 2007. The work was realized in co-operation with the Finnish Media artist Ilpo Jääskelainen that helped me with creating the 3D modeling and the necessary programming work. The animated players are modeled in relation to a series of sculptures.
“Contest of epilogues”, was never mend to be shown on its own but always combined with a sculptural component. Within this exhibition it was shown in combination with the installation “Performance principle”- a group of eight sculptures made of hard-shell protection parts and nowadays in the work “Patrocoles”, a sculpture in which the work was integrated to be displayed on a LCD screen.

Performance principle

Performance principle
Eight figures in combination with projected 3D animation
Hard plastic protection elements from various sport equipment, vetonit base, wood construction

Competitive sport in general and international competitive sport in particular carries a message through its very structure. It manifests in rating nations, teams and individuals, and states at its basic core the Western cultural thinking of being -a competitive society. Not only have modern athletes compete against each other but they also have measure their achievements against records set by already deceased colleges. Their achievements are eternally fixed within our mainframe of time and space.
Western culture acts to firmly entrenched pattern and believes that manifests them self unconsciously and are rarely challenged. There seems to be an (cultural) overriding commitment towards the performance principle. Apply the rules, let the rules define the process; let the process go on without limits.
In this particular work I was dealing with the afterlife of athletes, individuals that lived their live striving for acceleration, broke borders with will power or drugs and are unlike to stop, even by death.
The installation Performance principle displays a combination of sculptures and computer animated video projection. The sculptural part consists of nine individual crafted players. Sexless, bulky and scary, their bodies are mere exoskeletons, abandoned shells by their previous owners.The amour plates that circumscribe their bodies are compiled of hard shell protection parts collected from sport equipment.

Banana republis Inc.

Banana Republic Inc
60 Basketballs various condition, singer sewing machine, stuff

Banana Republic Inc is a pejorative term for a small, often Latin American, Caribbean or African country that is politically unstable, dependent on limited agriculture, often ruled by a small, self- elected, wealthy and corrupt clique. In most cases one finds a government structure with a small leisure class on the top and a large, poorly educated and poorly paid working class of peons. Throughout the last years there has been a growing concern about child laborers and adult workers who are exploited in the sporting goods industry. Due to the low wage level in conventional trade, families are forced to make their children add to the family income and work in order to make ends meet. Sub-contractors in sweatshop fashion produce for nearly all the world-famous trademarked sport article brands. For that reason Banana republics are typically also highly prone to revolutions and coups.
Banana Republic Inc. is a counter-revolution/evolutionary performance act in witch the industrial product is pulled back to its rural roots. During a three-day production in the exhibition space I was cutting and sewing a large amount of traditional eight-panel basketballs into banana shapes.


-(from Greek en in, telos purpose and echein to have)
Current scale is 700 x 300 cm
A selection of spherical-ball-shaped designs in down spiraling complexity,
collagen, and needles, Plexiglas bubbles, drawing of a digestive system

The used polygons shapes are the following (simple to complex)
Triangle (trigon), quadrilateral (tetragon), pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon (enneagon), decagon, hendecagon (undecagon), dodecagon, tridecagon (triskaidecagon), tetradecagon (tetrakaidecagon), pentadecagon (pentakaidecagon), hexadecagon (hexakaidecagon), heptadecagon (heptakaidecagon), octadecagon (octakaidecagon), enneadecagon (enneakaidecagon) icosagon, triacontagon, tetracontagon, pentacontagon, hexacontagon, heptacontagon, octacontagon, enneacontagon, hectogon

When considering origin of life we usually take the evolutionary viewpoint starting from the simple and its qualitative changes toward the complex. In the installation “Entelechia” it happens reversed inside a gigantic digesting organ that swallows the complex and ejects the simple. The Installation "Entelechia" depicts a picture of a gut system that is painted straight at the gallery wall.
The term “Entelechia”, originates in the writings of Aristotle about his understanding of life and
the force of life as laid down in one of his later treatises “De Anima”.
“What we call life is feeding, growing and atrophying in a self-containing process”, Feeding, in other words, is the basic feature of life. It takes part in a dual movement: Outwardly towards a possible source of food and inwardly back to the organ itself.”
Yet this takes place in a self-containing process and these processes are in it self the living thing”.
Now this classification of life can be applied to its simplest life forms like bugs, seeds, microorganisms and of cause us as humans on a basic level, as we are as Aristotle puts it-an organ within a self-sustaining system.
“When something appears in the full splendor of its very essence and shows what it is and what it is capable of being purely through itself (eidos), it enters a state of fulfillment and contentment in which it assumes a concrete form.” Maintaining this state is what Aristotle calls “entelechy”. Entelechy may further denote a force propelling one to self-fulfillment. There is an internal drive within the organ of atrophying and intensifying that reflects the performance principle.
Within the parkour trough the digestive system- the various shapes of geometric cutting forms go on a tireless journey. The very complex-meaning freshly swallowed, higher complex species are cradled in the stomage but will soon proceed towards simpler versions of the same specimens. These shapes furthermore continuo their journey through the labyrinths of the gut system that- finally being done- will displaying the simplest triangular pyramidal shape that will periodical ejected by the disposal port (anus).
The material you can see encased in the acrylic bubbles is called collagen, an animal based tissue layer underneath the skin. This material I was able to “purchase” during a summer job in a pharmaceutical industry several years ago and I am still experimenting with it.
Collagen has the consistence of handmade paper, but when moisturized becomes flexible like thin sliced bacon. Pinned with needles to a computer generated cutting mask it transforms- during a several day long drying process between calculated fixation points.
By behaving this way it breaks the stiff geometrics and stretches into gentle curves, though forming a living geometry.
My work process started with creating computer generated three-dimensional models of the used polygons. Think about them as wire frame objects (not solid but made like out of glass, and being translucent) -so that one could see its whole symmetry. The advantage is that I can radiate this models around itself into a position that is visual interesting and less symmetrical.
Now a soccer ball surface has clear visual symmetry from our point of vision, but it also extends itself to a not perceivable backside. By proceeding in the earlier mentioned way (making them transparent) I had them both (front and back) clear visible and was separating each on of them in two-dimensional layers.The two layers with its radius and junction points were further transferred to paper on witch the collagen was fixed with needled and left to dry. After the drying process these two layers were combined by witch the “backside” was lifted 1cm, and the front side 3 cm of from the paper.This creates the effect of the work as being a spatial object.
The installation “Entelechia” used to go under name “Eat this”; -that had been a work name-tag.
As artist I feel free to change names at points that a new idea finally settles and if you read about this piece on other pages, don’t get confused about it. Insights often occur, by the fact that my works are often more than an individual sculptures but generate within bigger installations. There are temporary several works that I consider to be ongoing project by means of being unfinished or ongoing collections. “Entelechia” is a work in process, meaning that it is adjustable and extendable.
Likewise the installation-collection by the name “Skinned polygons”, “Eat this!" is visualizing an evolutionary process revolving around a round shape. (I like the way it sounds.)
It is not my aim to claim deeper meaning to my works by connecting them to specific concepts of ancient Greek philosophers- but in a way I often find their sort of reasoning fitting to a certain school of thought that I enjoy from a sculptural point of view.
Please feel free to skip this train of thoughts and just go for the visual -or being interested in this topics-to read the first chapter of the second book of Aristotle’s -De Anima.

Blue pill-red pill

Blue Pill-red pill
Vitrine 60x70x130cm
Mixed media
Pill shaped objects, hand sewed out of multiple blue and red soccer balls (logos removed), display with a movie dialogue quotation.

The name and its allegory “ Blue pill-red pill”, goes along with an text quotation, that I borrowed from “The Matrix”- an science fiction movie produced 1999, written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski.
The movie describes a future in which reality-as perceived by humans-is actually a simulated reality. The story’s protagonist that senses this illusion is on its search for truth and meets like-minded characters. One of them is the mysterious Morpheus which offers him the choice to swallow either a blue or a red pill in order of his persuade- the blue one to forget everything about his quest and the red one in order to proceed his search towards knowledge.

“You take the blue pill
the story ends, you wake up
in your bed and believe
whatever you want to believe.

You take the red pill
you stay in Wonderland
and l show you how deep
the rabbit hole goes.”

The allegory is also found in Charles Lutwidge Dodgson´s novel “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” (1865) and the story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar and anthropomorphic creatures and in order to survive has to eat and drink multiple body and consciousness altering substances.

Dawn of man- a new approach

Dawn of Man- a new approach!
DVD 9:30 min

In the fictitious documentary “Dawn of Man- a New Approach” I am staging the first discovery of the ball by an apelike human around 2 million years ago. The movie has been collaboration with the finish media artist Sari Palosaari that has guided me in the camera work and editing assistance trough this project. It is myself in the costume by the way! It was designed by my brother Uli Westphal that is working as visual artist in Berlin.
Balls are cultural artifacts that reach far back in time and were at hand when man started to play. In my documentary we become witnesses of the moment when the enlightened Homo habilis becomes the Homo ludens, the “Playing human”.
The movie has been largely inspired by the beginning sequences of Stanley Kubricks, 2001: A Space Odyssey. In Kubrick´s version we are apelike beings, living in hostile environment constantly in fear of darkness, starvation and predators. We witness the man-apes igniting spark toward humanity as our ancestor learns to use a skeleton bone as weapon. It always made me feel uncomfortable that the rise of humanity began with a weapon. In my movie wanted to make a new approach to this story. What if the first real human discovery was a ball, first of snow and later in a modified form made of tree branches? Out of curiosity and playful research our ancestor made an innovation that has never left him since-, and throughout time has been passed to us.

Ikarus syndrom

Ikarus Syndrome
Drawing, Ink on paper
300x140 cm
Since birds are highly visible and common animals, humans have had a relationship with them since the dawn of man. Birds have been featured in culture and art since prehistoric times, when they were represented in early cave paintings. The most known figure that comes to ones mind must be Ikarus, the Hero from Greece mythology that flying to high on borrowed wings, crashed and burned.
In 2006 I had an exhibition in Lahti´s Hiihtomuseum, Finland that was situated at the giant downhill ski jumping tracks I found it more than fitting to make a work about this human ambition. Flying is probably mankind’s greatest dream-it is a deep-rooted topic in ancient literature and still fascinates us today. Sigmund Freud described dreams about flying as a natural progression as we grow. First we crawl, then start to walk continue to run -and from a child point of view- it would be natural to expect to fly next. The drawing “Ikarus Syndrome” is a visual study of what is birdlike in man and what is manlike in birds.
The drawing displays a wide variety of comparing studies such as simple human shelters and bird nest architecture, bird skeleton heads and sport helmets, flight formation and synchronized sport disciplines, bird postures and jumping styles, our diverse anatomy and physiology, fossils and iconographical imaginary.
The several hundred ink drawings are partly strong structured but merge towards the middle into a melting pot of transfigurative chaos in which each species intermingles with each other.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Out of Pakistan

Out of Pakistan
2004- ongoing
Current state, tent 280x150x150 cm - tarpaulin 280 x 300 cm
38 Illustrations, 4 frames, 50cm x 70 cm each

Pakistan is producing 80% of sport balls sold in the world. Almost 75% of these are made in the city of Sialkot that services for more than 200 producers People flock to this city from far away to find work and produce the items that are marketed as "lifestyle" products.
The balls that are all hand made are manufactured in close to 2000 workshops. In the cities sheds and backyards are rafley 40000 men and women stitching away, each subcontracting to a Pakistani company.
Most modern footballs are stitched from 32 panels of waterproofed leather or plastic- 12 regular pentagons and 20 regular hexagons. The panels are Hand stitched; with pre punched stitching holes (combined with a latex bladder)- in this way 32 Panels are held by 720 stitches that a soccer ball need to be accomplished. A skilled worker needs three hours and 750 stitches to piece together the 32 separate panels with waxed thread with a maximum of three balls a day to deliver to the downtown manufacturer. His or her reward will be the equivalent of 1,80€ a day. Their handiwork will sell as quality product under a brand name that costs close to a 100€ in European stores.To make ends meet many families have been including their children into the manufacturing process.
In 1996 however, during the European championship, activists lobbied to end the use of child labor. This eventually led to the Atlanta Agreement, which seeks to reform the industry to eliminate the use of child labor in the production of balls. The outcome however is still controversial because the former integrated minors are now send to work in more dangerous working environments and the production lines are focused on factory facilitations often difficult to reach by the locals that have to travel every day and are disconnected with their social bounds. Throughout the last two years it got a lot worse, if you go today in a sport shop you will find that the trend clearly goes to glued soccer balls that are made in several East Asian countries.
Chinese competition is threatening from below, bombarding the market with cheap, mechanically stitched balls. The Thai producers are bearing down from above, whittling away at Khawaja's market share with their high-tech, glued product. His competitors have already scored a major victory. This year's World Cup stadiums will not be sporting hand-stitched Adidas balls from Sialkot. Glued balls from Thailand will be taking pride of place.
It takes strength to drive the needle through the thick plastic. I made the experience myself working on this project. For over five years I have been collecting old soccer balls, dismantling them, cutting out the pentagons and sewing the remaining pieces to become a tarpaulin. There is only a certain amount of pieces one can sew before ones fingertips say- that’s it. The collected items have all been played and wear the marks of heavy usage.
This project has been my long lasting ambition to create a sculpture that can serve as a refuge shelter entirely made of soccer balls. 2009 it will finally reach a surface size that will make it recognizable as a tent like shelter, a survival tent entirely manufactured by soccer balls.
I also used the inflatable bladders (usually made of either latex) to make a comfortable air mattress that guaranties a soft and cozy sleeping surface.
During this project I have also teamed up with the German artist/ illustrator Martin Markes that created accompanying illustrations to this project.
Our junction point originated in a newspaper article based on a story wherein German custom officials discovered two Pakistani minors in a cargo container full of sporting equipment at the international cargo airport in Frankfurt. Like media sources claimed, the two boys that have been employed, as ball stichers in the city of Sialkot were eager to travel to a country were the best soccer is played.
My sculptural work goes along with the 38 illustrations of M.Markes that contain a visual diary of their adventures journey.Between the evergreen lawn of the stadiums and the dusty ball factories exists a space in whom dreams and reality mix.. Both works invite you on a fantastic journey to the land and the people of whom we know little and can only assume.

Please check out the article by Uwe Buse, Football and chains,1518,418139,00.html


Field studies
98 Drawings and ground plans sport fields, board games and child play, ink drawing on paper
150x560cm, growing

Western relations to nature have been characterized by mastery rather than co-existents.
In the field of sport this mind set is especially dominant, manifesting in the fact that our playing fields are anti-nature and have to be- according to the fact that modern competitive sport has to facilitate a near laboratory setting in which its uni- dimensionality can unfold itself under controlled conditions. Pure nature has too much variation, too much noise, so it all has to become mapped, planned and graphical within the sense to keep locked out the immeasurable, unknown and unknowable.
Generally, playing fields are wide expanses of grass, dirt or sand without many obstructions.
A playground is used for playing sports or games; a playing field further refers to any place or context within which competitive activity takes place. It is also used as a metaphorical term in economics as the term “leveled field”, a plateau on which no external interference affects the ability of the players to compete according to a set of established and agreed rules.
In my works I often counter-target this conformity with individualism- a clash of special designed spaces for specific purpose- versus un-manipulated urban/ nature settings and the human urge to reclaim its right to imaginary play and to claim its private space.
Within this working process my idea was to create a collection in which the boarders of established systems in pro sports activities and child play blend into each other and lead the spectator to loose its grip in process of differentiation. Kids game chalk drawings found on streets and parking lots, board games as well as ground plans of sporting field’s stretch into a master plan of human activity. There is no hierarchy in the placing, every game every sport begins with a line that divides, allocates and grows with the complexity of the play.
The work Field studies consists play concepts that have been originated for more than 4000 years. The more than five meter long drawing displays 98 fields and disappears into a thorax like paper dispenser that offer more space for future finds.


Plastic hardshellprotectors from various sport uniforms, sandblasted glass walls, light tubes

The work was installed in the facilities of a former Jewish steam bath in the city of Wiesbaden. The spaces (bath, massage and showercabines) have been contributed and used for artistic installation work by the Fluxus Friends Wiesbaden e. V.
The selection of protective shells were arranged and fixed on backside illuminated glass walls.
An Armory is a depot used for the storage of protective equipment and offensive weapons.
I transformed the space by the motto, “Put your gun down brother”, the ritual of laying down your protective shells and engaging naked and unprotective the unique atmosphere of the spa.
Wiesbaden is one of the foundation places of the Fluxus Movement and the nice people that run the place keep up the founding spirit and spreading the founder’s movement with lots of enthusiasm and charisma.


Collection of balls (marbles to fist size ball specimens), steam bath with sandblasted Plexiglas membrane, light tubes, oversized glass test tubes with primal colored ball selection

In 2007 I had an exhibition in Wiesbaden in the Gallery of The Fluxus Freunde Wiesbaden e. V
in cooperation with the Finnish artists Sari Palosaari and Mia Rinne. The Exhibition was curated by artist group located in Frankfurt a M called 431 art and the show went under the name “Northbound-installations and media art from Finland”.
The exhibition spaces were located in a former Jewish bath and consisted of various shower and spa facilities that were provided to install spatial artworks. One of the cabins provided me with a stainless steel bath that I modified for the work “ Ballroom”.
Remembering the childhood pleasure of lying within a sea of balls I filled the bath with over thousand unique specimens of balls. These have been collected over the last five years and just were asking for to being presented in this particular way.
The work went together with the work “Pharma CV”, a color sorted selection of balls in oversized glass blown test tubes on the wall.

Dense matter

Dense matter
Light table, selection of balls

I was growing up influenced by my parents that had a strong interest in higher mathematics, physics, nature and art. During my childhood my inner world was always filled with terms originating these fields. The ball in its various forms and shapes forms for me a kind of nucleus around which visual memories revolves. The shape of a ball or sphere somewhat attracts associations to biological topics and narratives of the microcosm and its molecular world.
In one of my early childhood memories I remember myself lying in an IKEA ball sea and ruminating about abstracts ideas of molecules, dense matter and black holes. The title “Dense matter”, originates from physics, matter is anything that has both mass and volume (takes up space). Somehow it playfully popped in my head and stuck. During the last several years I have tried to collect as many unique ball specimens as possible, and have assembled over 1300 individual items. Why balls have been made?We like the smooth surface and the eye pleasing shape- coupled with an irresistible impulse of kicking it into the landscape or smashing it against the wall.
With a recorded history of at least 5000 years the ball is the earliest toy known to men. Along active games the most highly developed global played ones are played with balls and there is a great amount of them. The selected items on this table are inviting you to brainstorm and find a narrative element

Eternal Erection

Eternal Erection
Rotating phallic sculpture sewed out of reflecting soccer-ball elements
90-x18 cm, telescope stand
Ancient sculptures of Phallus symbols have been found in many parts of the world, notably among the vestiges of ancient Greece and Rome. Within many ancient cultures, phallic structures were symbolized with male fertility and the penises as well as the testicles were portrayed unrealistically huge and prominent. An erection is usually, though not exclusively, associated with sexual arousal, in many ancient cultures phallic structures centrally focus on adult male audience performances.
Sports like Soccer come often along with stereotypes of masculinity and Macho attitudes. It is considered and celebrated as a bulwark of men that we vigorously defend and in which context we celebrate our masculine gender role. In most parts of the world football evokes great passions and plays an important role in the life of individual fans, local communities, and even nations; it is therefore often claimed to be the most popular sport in the world and the only one that has its own worldwide understood idiosyncratic language. Millions undergo the strongest emotionally involvement during the games and the hype forces enormous pressure on the management, teams and individual players on high competitive level. The after mach of the world championship is often called “the big meat market”. A sell out of players that are both popular and skillful.
There are seventeen laws in the official Laws of the Game that were formulated by the International Football Association Board. Ironically this seems to match with the term “The ring of seventeen”, witch is a slang word for the steroidal substances and derives from its unique build up, -a ring of 17 molecules which functions as a magic key that through this unique build up can penetrate cell walls and fool around with the actual DNA. Even the schematic chemical drawing with its molecular structure of one five and three six edged polygons seems to resemble the classic soccer ball design.
Check out the image (
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group. It is the principal
Male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid used for phallic enlargement and its performance improving abilities are considered to be a form of doping in most sports, particularly given the lengths to which athletes and professional laboratories go to in trying to conceal such abuse from sports regulators. The uses for anabolic steroids in sports and bodybuilding are controversial, because of their adverse effects and the potential to gain unfair advantage.
The work” Eternal Erection” is a 90cm high Phallus made by dismantling and assembling a bigger amount of silver reflective technique Soccer balls size 5.
The sewed Sculpture in its enlarged and firm state is fixed on a slow rotating motor placed on an “erectable” Tripod. A halogen beam creates a nice disco effect that illuminates the work and high lightens the form in all its splendor and glamour.

Mappa Mundi

Mappa Mundi
2003- ongoing
Collection of unfolded balls from the field of sport, 12 Glass Frames, 140x160x8cm

Along active games the most highly developed global ones - are played with balls. When I slowly started to collect those items it became aware of the multiplicity of ways in witch they were formed and shaped.
It all started with a “Hacky Sack”, a fist-sized ball that was made out of triangular patches and had a label saying, “Made in Guatemala!” Cutting it open I found that it had a filling of black granulate that I later identified as being of volcanic origin. Something struck me than. I bought a ball made in the opposite side of the world, that was filled with a substance taking from the very heart of this country. It was a fascinating poetic thought and I was hooked.
I have to confess that it became an obsession and I have gathered more than a thousand individual items. Mappa Mundi is a collection of these balls that I collected on many years and journeys all over the world. The collection Mappa mundi was a starting point for a series of works that inhabit the idea of being ongoing collections. In the processes of collecting, ones own taste and vision, forms the individual core of a distinctively collection policy. While selecting I define unique objects belonging to a certain category and quality and therefore they are accepted into my private collection. Each one of the balls must have been played and has to have an individual construction pattern. Having fulfilled this terms the items are cut and unfolded along its sewing lines. Alienated in this way and presented in glass displays, they more likely seem to remind of ritual objects than belongings of the field of play and sports.
With their fillings of volcanic granulate, rice, seed, bones, reindeer fur, sound mechanisms, liquid and handwritings, each ball seems to reveal a new secret. It helped me mapping some unknown territory- so also the name of the work is related to this. Mappa mundi means Map of the World.
In my working method I sympathize with a 17th century tradition of creating ones own “Wunderkammer”, a cabinet of wonder, or a wonder-room. In their historical definition these collections often contained a mix of fact and fiction, cabinets were filled with preserved animals, horns, tusks, skeletons, minerals, as well as other types of equally fascinating man-made objects: sculptures wondrously old, wondrously fine or wondrously small; clockwork automata; ethnographic specimens from exotic locations.
As a artist/ collector I am got a lot of inspiration from the publishing’s and writings by “The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge”, that was founded in 1660 and is known simply as the Royal Society. I understand this movement as a group of renaissance people that were collectors preserving the old and searching the new, traveling to foreign countries engaging with other cultures and were constantly generating knowledge through hands on experiments.
Mappa mundi- a ongoing collection in the sense of this world is a very inspiring but also difficult work to handle. Consisting of ten segments it is rather big and not suitable to be shown in many galleries spaces. Furthermore I would not consider about selling it in pieces because the single frames compliment each other and are a growing collection, unique in this sense.
It consists out of ten segments with three further in preparation. Nevertheless there has been an offspring of works originating from the main collection. The last one was a big size format 150x 300 cm that was put on display at the 3rd Beijing Art Biennale in Beijing 2008.