VITA CONTEMPLATIVA Spirits-Gum-Cocktail

The philosopher Byung-Chul Han in his essay "Müdigkeitsgesellschaft” (“Fatigue Society") provides a literary account of the phenomenon of alienation and self-exploitation in contemporary society. According to Han, Prometheus was the original mythological figure of the ‘fatigue society’ - with his alter ego, the eagle, eating away at his ever-growing liver. Kafka, in his narrative "Prometheus" (1918), attempted a reinterpretation of this myth: "The gods became tired, the eagles became tired, the wound closed with fatigue." This healing fatigue might be a suggestion for the high performance subject of modern age to a contemplative way of life.

The chewing gums in "VITA CONTEMPLATIVA" are metaphoric representations of the contemporary subjects of self-exploitation. Numbly sunk in spirits (lat. spiritus), air bubbles develop around chewed and exhausted bodies. While mirroring the effects of time, these bubbles both question and symbolise the forces of power, the authenticity of subjects, the notion of free will, cultural divisions, all the connecting and disconnecting elements of life.

This work reflects the necessity to overcome this state of self-anaesthesia. It is about the restless search of the soul and about the longing for a contemplative way of life.

The photographs are pigment prints on fine art baryt paper available in two formats 70 x 105 cm and 50 x 75 cm in a limited edition of 7.