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my body is not my temple anymore

Installation | Sculpture | Video

Niki-de-Saint-Phalle Promenade Hannover

28.10.2022 - 27.11.2022

The title of the exhibition my body is not my temple anymore points to the reflection between ego and environment, which have no relation to each other in a torn relationship. There are plenty of reasons for this at present, war, climate change - resignation, world-weariness and distraction underlie the various works as a dark source of artistic inspiration. How do such circumstances affect us and what does this mean for the healthy self? 

"The body is a sheet of plain glass through which the soul looks straight and clear." This quotation from Virginia Woolf's essay On being ill, points to the psychophysical interrelationship between body and soul, the sentience and the psyche, which can be closely connected and in balance or disbalance. Depression or negative emotions cause insomnia, headaches, pain in the limbs or itching. These psychosomatic effects of the psyche on the body, which are often attributed to stress, cannot be satisfied in the long term with coffee, cigarettes or antidepressants without successively harming the body. In her essay, Woolf pleads for an inner reflection that traces the fine nuances of our mental states and our own vulnerability in order to find a language for them: "Short of these, this monster, the body, this miracle, its pain, will soon make us taper into mysticism, or rise, with rapid beats of the wings, into the raptures of transcendentalism."  Can depressive emotional complexes be deciphered or even overcome on such cross-border journeys of discovery into one's own self?

"Recognise yourself" has been wisdom since antiquity as a wall inscription in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, which then some hundreds of years later as a catchphrase of the Enlightenment moved the whole human being into the centre of medical-philosophical interest. In particular, philosophical physicians, including Schiller and Leibniz, tried to explore the connections between body and soul, the human sentience. One might assume that these were two strictly separable substances that hardly influenced each other. Leibniz's law of Influxus physicus states the opposite, according to which body and soul are in an interrelationship of naturally acting forces, called Influxus corporis, the effect of the body on the soul, and Influxus animae, the effect of the soul on the body. These assumptions are based on the foundation of the pre-stabilised harmony, an irrevocable, natural-law order, which, under the condition of time, is able to bring the natural correlations into a state of equilibrium. In illness, one is able to recover through relaxation. Although Leibniz's conciliatory philosophy assumes that we live in the best possible world of all worlds, not everyone is always equally well off. 

To represent humanity and suffering, the exhibition my body is not my temple anymore approaches it through multiple sensory channels, hearing, seeing, feeling it affects the viewer with realistic objects from our everyday lives. The omnipresent symptoms of depressive vibrations are given a space that encourages reflection on our own inner states. 

Text: Anna Buchert

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