PREFACE / CURTAIN

KATJA NYSTEN & SEBASTIAN FRITZSCH

APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2023

Along the seams, a body without an organ

What is not yet fully formed, defenceless, in need, grows along the seams into an organless body. In the protrusions and holes of Katja Nysten and Sebastian Fritzsch’s creations, elemental forces that are inherent to the womb seem to be at work. Sculptures made of red velvet are reminiscent of pre-natal beings. The material is marked by a history and use, and now it is experiencing a new birth. In the space, the cord-like forms with their smooth and rough surfaces exert a direct lure and appeal to touch them, enticing and irritating at the same time.

Between intuition and precise observation, Katja and Sebastian sew and modulate objects made of velvet, felt, and linen. It can be a “physical decision”, says Katja, how the material is moulded, less determined by the mind. The collaboration between Katja and Sebastian is characterised by a special trust. Only in this trust can a fragile sphere of sculptures emerge that characterises a sense of neediness, that are exposed and helpless. Then it is also possible to cut into the material without fear, so that the helplessness of these figures, which are not yet quite figures, is not exploited.

Having a body and being a body – this difference is omnipresent here. If the body stands for parts of the soul and the overcoming of a duality between body and mind, then the body becomes a body without an organ. Deleuze develops the concept of the “organless body” in reference to the schizophrenic word in Antonin Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty. In this state, the body and its organs are seized by a state of passion. “Being, which is nonsense, has teeth”, Deleuze quotes from Artaud (The Logic of Sense, 121). A language of affect breaks through, an energy and emotional activity, not syntax and logic. Thus the senses are called upon, not the sense. The toothed, rod-like structures, stretched out on cushions in a soft arc, block a logical sense, search for an elementary being in the senses. An appeal and an invitation to lie down on them, a promise not to be hurt if you are careful and consider the vulnerability of the surfaces. Velvet is a material that expands this performative approach when the surface, touched by hands, becomes shiny or matt. Katja collages the various fabrics with seams to create a composition that makes the material tangible beyond its practical usefulness. A living fabric without any practical value. The red velvet has a very specific, personal history for Sebastian, as it comes from his childhood – the red curtain from his parents’ house. The sunlight has left traces on it. They bear witness to a feeling of security.

Willi Reinecke
(Translated from German)

 

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