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.

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