The Bourgeoise Show

La petite braise 2 / 2003 / Farbfotografie / 120 x 70 cm / Ausstellung: The Bourgeoise Show, Social Structures in Urban Space / 07.11.03 ­ 01.02.2004 / Dunkers Kulturhus, Helsingborg

This experiment results from a joyful cooperation with Ewa Einhorn, cooperation in those days understood in the emphatic sense, making our heads glow while at the same time drown in cooling liquids.

In the photo/text installation La Petit Braise two public spaces in the city of Helsingborg (Sweden) are staged. The objective is to show how the establishment of a polis is dependent upon a separation and exclusion which constitutes a grey zone. The first space is a fountain at the main square in the city of Helsingborg. The water stream doesn’t always drain immediately so it collects in the basin of the fountain. As part of the project a funnel is installed where the stream drains immediately down the sewer and establishes what appears to be a perfect and wasteless circuit. Because of this intervention the fountain is emptied out of water.

The second space is an abandoned and useless bridge situated in a park that divides Helsingborg into two: the rich (Swedish) northern part and the poor (immigrant) southern part. The bridge is brought into visibility by being covered in a shiny plastic carpet which is the same blue as that of the fountain basin. At the end of the bridge a sign is installed. The sign describes a marriage scene where not­yet married Helsingborgians fail to catch a flying bridal bouquet. The old ritual of catching and throwing.

La petite braise 1 / 2003 / Farbfotografie / 70 x 120 cm / Ausstellung: The Bourgeoise Show, Social Structures in Urban Space / 07.11.03 ­ 01.02.2004 / Dunkers Kulturhus, Helsingborg

The bouquet, promises and establishes the institution of marriage as the norm through which legitimacy is conferred. In the next paragraph the text suggests an alternative scenario to a successful catch that fixes the norm. The viewer is instead offered to imagine bodies of unmarried Helsingborgians spread out, passing water in the trees above the bridge. Such a fantasy suggests the bridge­ space as a potential fountain of excess and waste and thus opens up the possibility of imagining a different kind of reflective surface. Voila, la petite braise.

dav
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