Installation with video, posters of archive photos and inflatable sculpture.
Photograph “Parade with caterpillar” in Moscow, 1934: 280 x 200 cm
Photograph man with elephant in Akron, 5.09.1933 : 140 x 200 cm
"Nazisnake", reconstruction of inflatable soviet sculpture of 1934, (scale model 1:3) : 250 x 250 x 700 cm Materials: polyamid coated polyurethane textile, blower.
Production of sculpture in collaboration with Jos Klarenbeek (3D Design) and Freya Schmidt (Seamstress).
"On the role of inflatables in parades in the Soviet Union and the United States" Video 4:3, 4.05 min
Montage of archive footage, 2014.
Throughout history, the inflated spectacle has seduced countless times and transported the observers into individual and collective dreamworlds. The exhibition “Monuments of the Moment” explores the origins of helium-filled sculptures, that were used for mass manifestations in the Soviet Union and the United States since the 1930ies.
Central to the exhibition are two life-size photographs and a reconstruction model of an inflatable sculpture. The archive photograph shows an inflatable elephant with the maker Tony Sarg in Ohio in 1933, the other the Soviet snake of 1934 for the celebration of the October Revolution in Moscow. The snake is a propaganda-parody on nationalsocialism, which is indicated by a swastika on the painted “face”. The soviet inflatable is used as a carnavelesque element inside the parade. Remarkable to the historical inflatables from the two continents is, that they have a paper ear. The technical solution is not pneumatic in either case. This anomaly makes it likely, that one of the superpowers copied the technology of the other.
In direct relation to the archive photographs hangs a 1:3 scale model (length ca. 7,5 m) of the "Nazisnake". The sculpture is without ears or eyes. With the abstraction, I wanted to emphasize the essentials of the sculpture: the shape of the body and the seams that radiate towards the swastika-symbol. The symbol is sewn onto the sculpture with the same fabric, so it is only noticeable only at a second look. With the sculpture I wanted to look both in the past and the future. The question arises when snakes are changing skin, what the present manifestation of fascism is today?[back]