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Mixed media5.75 × 5.75 × 13.10 mMartin-Gropius-BauBerlin, D2019
Was the work (the installation) that we are showing in the exhibition created for a particular occasion or reason? With what is it concerned? Does it reflect an individual, personal experience or was it inspired by a wider social context?
In current politics, the tendency towards isolation and marginalisation is virulent in the extreme. It’s why I immediately thought of Michel Foucault’s book Discipline and Punishment. The notions of the panopticon and of total discipline have gained renewed significance thanks to the potential of digital technology. I am not interested in illustrating the subject, but rather in using it as a basis for artistic comment. My planned installation
“Panopticonism” would have opened up a space of experience and permitted reflection on the subject from a spatially abstract perspective. It was important to me to direct its focus towards architecture as a system of order, a built manifestation of power, and so to make it - in this particular exhibition space - tangible at the intellectual, even the physical level. The design was inspired by the layout and special location of the Gropius Bau. The round plenum in the entrance area gave me the idea of a rotunda and the panopticon. The building’s special location in a former border zone of the Berlin Wall presents a very stark frame of reference that stands in direct relationship to the work. In the exhibition we are now showing the concept as a project proposal that challenges the visitor’s powers of imagination. The work is vividly presented on canvasses with pictures and sketches of the project, as well as in a small brochure. A future opportunity to make “Panopticonism” a reality would be welcomed.