84x64 cm | Filler, oak frame
I did this work by pacing the edges of a panel with wet filler, 99 laps wearing plastic clogs. See a video of the complete performative production event here.
For me, the work is about how the physical limitations of existence shape our bodies and patterns of movement. Economic power is applied from the outside and influence our lives to a greater degree than our inner motivations. The vast majority belong to the working class, i.e. everyone who is employed - earns a living through wages or benefits. Their freedom of movement is, to a large extent, dictated by external conditions beyond their control. The shape of their tracks is primarily characterised by monotonous repetition. Many attempts to break this pattern take the form of crime, leading to further spatial confinement. It is no coincidence that the prisons are full of people without financial resources. The prisoner's movements are restricted to pacing the walls of the cell.
Nevertheless, submission to external circumstances is something that characterises the whole subject on a fundamental level. Being an independent, self-conscious individual, capable of making free choices, depends on a boundary between the mind and the environment. The subject's primordial state is alienation. It raises a desire to break this isolation and dissolve the closed circuit of the subject and create a connection to the body or other entities outside one's self. It can involve complete devotion and denial of one's own will, but just as often mean applying extensive self-discipline and total control of inner impulses. As, for example, through different meditation techniques.
The shoes wore to produce this work is a modern variant of clogs, made of plastic. This is the shoe of the common people, the shoe of the working class. Historically made in wood for use in factories and on the fields, but today, for example, healthcare workers widely use the plastic version. It is also popular as leisurewear for the mainstream, or the so-called masses.
In French, clogs are called "sabot", which is the basis for the word sabotage. Possibly because when automatic looms were introduced in France, the workers threw their shoes into them to protest the machines making them redundant.
This work is part of a series called Platform. Works made by bodily imprints in frames with wet filler while placed on the ground. This is inspired by Gutai, the experimental Japanese art group from the 50s, who focused on matter, body and process, and especially one member Kazuo Shiraga who painted with his feet, suspended from the ceiling over the canvas. These imprints can be made by me or others, to document, or record, an event taking place at a certain point in time. The happening is becoming the act that creates a work of art and thus challenging the boundary between documentation of art and art itself.
Res Ipsa is a compilation of works made by an act shaping the filler once it is prepared inside the frame. The works thus function as a recording device and give a statement of the event taking place while the filler was still wet.
Res Ipsa is Latin for "the thing itself" and is part of the juridical term "Res ipsa loquitur" (the thing speaks for itself), used when an injury or accident in itself clearly shows who is responsible, such as an instrument left inside a body after surgery.