2019 Installation, quilt made of velvet, 210×270 cm, Photography, Weathered Branch, Sound
“[…] life is a product of putrefaction, and it depends on both death and the dungheap”
Georges Batailles, Death, Bataille Reader
We had just started working on this piece, when Karl died; finally the work has become a homage to him. A couple of years ago we made a series of photos of his morning manifestations, which he used to present to us with great emphasis. The constellations that are reflected in them and the various substances that they are made up of had long fascinated us. Some looked like complicated signs or symbols – perhaps a Shaman could read the future in them? Others resembled far-off landscapes covered in mist from a bird’s-eye perspective. We had the impression that Karl also took these apparitions seriously, deemed them important, and wanted us to look at them. Being able to digest well is important, especially for an older being, since it is a question of the ecology of one’s own body. We cropped the individual objects photographically and laid them on a green background – the colour assigned to love in medieval thinking. Then we had them printed on velvet, one of the most precious fabrics of that period and put them together to a magnificent quilt.
In the installation, the quilt is spread out on the floor like a splendid coat. Below, the contours of a sleeping or dreaming human figure can be seen. On one side, the quilt is lifted – as if someone or something were let in or out. Many parrots love to crawl under blankets. Karl had always been too careful to get involved in this game – he didn’t want to be touched except at the beak, most likely he has made bad experiences with people. But as he got older he often slept in his little box right next to our bed so that we could be there for him when he wasn’t feeling well. Before falling asleep he sometimes made a little rustling noise with his beak. It arises when the two halves of the beak, which are equipped on the inside with a riffled structure, are rubbed against each other. It is a comfort sound, similar to the purring of a cat. In the installation, a recording of this sound and a weathered old branch coming out from under the blanket form a bridge to the surrounding space.
Photos Installation Views: Pascal Marcel Dreier