steel, copper, glazed ceramics, necklace, wax, silicone, salt, plaster
Installation view at reinraum, Düsseldorf
„Kopfüber stürzen wir uns in die Monade.
Ein Strudel umherschwirrender Gedankensequenzen.
Ehe wir uns versehen, werden wir eingesogen.
Kein Anfang, kein Ende, mal du, mal ich, mal wir, mal die Monade.
Immer: der Raum, digital-analog durchschreitend.
Trotz allem bewegen wir uns im (N)irgendwo.
Ich: in ahnlungsloser Distzanz, schreibend über alles Gehörte
und virtuell Vernommene, geistig erlebend.
Du: in unmittelbarer Einsamkeit, verfügend über alles Störende
Und Bedrohliche des Unterraums, künstlerisch erprobend.
Sortieren, kontrollieren, aufräumen, sich im Griff haben.
Das Unüberschaubare der Situation durchtränkt von Gedanken,
Irritationen, Sehnsüchten-scheint es sich für den Moment eines
zögerlichen Atemzuges zu klären.
Einen Hauch der Monade erahnend, verflüchtigt sich das greifbar
Geglaubte Sichtfeld scneller, als es uns scheint.
Wo bist du Monade?
Komm herausgekrochen, Monade:
Zeig dich uns, Monade!
– Manuela Mehrwald
Upside down we fall into the monad: a surge of whirling thought sequences.. Before we know it, we are sucked in. No beginning, no end, sometimes you, sometimes me, sometimes us, sometimes the monad. At all times: The space, digitally and analogically traversed. Despite everything, we wander through no(some)where. Myself: in an unwitting distance, writing about everything heard and virtually perceived, mentally experienced. - You: in unmediated solitude, at the disposal of everything disturbing and threatening within the subterranean, artistically experimented with. Sorting, checking, tidying up, keeping a hold of oneself. The incomprehensibility of the situation saturated with thoughts, irritations, longings - it seems to clear for the mere moment of a hesitant breath. Sensing a hint of the monad, the field of vision believed to be tangible evaporates faster than it appears to us. Where are you monad? Come crawling out monad: show yourself to us monad! - Kopfgeburt.*
"Men have a body, women are a body. Scientists, however, are supposed to be great minds." We propose a structure based on monads. Inspired by a pre-existing attitude. Termed: masculine self-conception. To accuse the natural philosopher Leibniz - a "universal spirit of his time", as he is coined according to Wikipedia - of just that, would not be in our interest. After all, we are fascinated by the self-confidence with which he wrote law-like phrases concerning the structure of the monad - free from the burden of proof, any fear of justification, simply asserted. In principle, there is nothing against a self-confidently presented thought. It becomes problematic only if the person with the highest perceived rank obtains the sole interpretative power. As such, any dynamism of discussion becomes prohibited, the tone set. " Uniformity is the death of scientific thinking. Dissonance, however, is the melody of the Enlightenment. It expands the constricting notions of what we consider normal and conceivable." When science is based on the mind of a small part of humanity, a one-sidedness arises that leads to the following symptoms: - We feel like strangers in (thinking) spaces where we don't dare to disagree, let alone position ourselves - Which in turn leads to a strain on our mental capacity - Which we in turn need for research and thinking Consequence: we fall into an intellectual-creative-emotional immobility, which freezes everything that we attempt, explore, experiment, feel, and think about. Spaces that should have been open for a " shared " thinking, turn our bodies invisible. The root for which can be found in already existent voids of empathy for the other and the presuppositions which they bring with them into the (thinking) space. Instead of closing such voids, they only seem to widen uncontrollably and to increase the prevailing distance.
So we want to permit ourselves to think beyond Leibniz and his monad. To feel, to speak, to construct the monad as we like. In a purely suggestive space, which once served the human void. Without having to justify ourselves for it, let alone to be ashamed and to apologize. Merely out of a natural urge. Emphasizing at the same time: we are not only bodies. We have needs. But what meaning do our bodies have at a ''pandemic'' distance? Our greatest pain at this moment results from the digital longing for a physical encounter in analog space. An encounter with whom we not only exchange intellectually, but also interact physically. Between us lies the longing for physical synchronicity. Passive, as soon as another body surrounds us. Active, when both bodies want it. Spontaneous. I have never seen Anna's installative translation of the monad in physical space, have not felt it, have not wandered around it, have not experienced it, have not been able to stand lingering beside it. I only know it through Anna's descriptions. Likewise, Anna can only know my reactions to her monad from my written lines and occasionally from the sound of my voice - without knowing whether I understand what she communicated at a distance. So, I could put into words the monad which is in front of you. And nevertheless you would feel something different and experience even less. My descriptions would either irritate you or in the worst case distance you from your own " seen " monad. So please follow your own need: look, think, feel, speak, construct for yourself. Or go to the quiet little restroom, if you suddenly feel like it.
In the spirit of the initial critique of a meritocratic system based on the principle of exclusion, we would like to encourage you to further enliven the process of the monad - whether you understand everything or not; whether analog or digital. Just like you, we also try to get closer to each other with all available technological means and to touch each other for a short moment despite our physical distance. Caught in the dichotomy of an oblivious desire for touch and a hygienically attentive withholding. Ultimately, we felt deliciously nourished during our first encounter with Leibniz's world of thought. In allowing ourselves to digest the monad as it comes, we unburden ourselves. Forever hoping our audience is courageous enough to descend into the localities with us. And so we stumble out of the monad: You: analogically tested, visualized artistically. Me: digitally reflected, arranged textually. Yourself: hopefully, reading up to here. - Kopfgeburt.*
*Kopfgeburt. Literally translated as " Head birth ". To be understood in the sense of mental creations brought forth under strenuous exertion. Metaphorically referring to the birth of an infant, which comes naturally, by high effort on the part of the mother, upside down into the world.
Text: Manuela Mehrwald
Translation: Justin de Verteuil