by the artists Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki immerses the room
and those entering it into fluorescent light. The multi-media staging has
its secret center in a large format photograph mounted on aluminium and
hanging from the ceiling on the left wall; in the photograph a naked person
is to be seen, a peculiar person – a hermaphrodite. The original comes
from a medical archive, a fact which refers to the category of pathological
deviation. The artists’ formulation "mosaic identity" on one side relates
to that medical taking over of the androgyne, but on the other side also
to an aesthetic concept. "Mosaic hermaphroditism", found in the dictionary
under the term "gynandromorphism", refers to the presence of both combinations
of sexual chromosomes in the body cells of one individual, which results
in the development of the according sexual characteristics. A processed
and modified photograph of the hermaphrodite is lying on a lightbox bed
in the right corner of the room, reminding X-ray photography.
There is an aesthetic fascination that
emanates directly from the photograph of the hermaphrodite itself, which
– as Klonaris and Thomadaki describe – is due to the staging of the body
and its posture, to the element of the blindfolded eyes and the associations
with the iconography of angel representations.
"Mosaic Identity" thus defines an aesthetic
quality which is expressed in the media multiplication of the fascinating
image of the angel.
Opposite the door, we see "mutations" of
the photograph that are the result of certain technical manipulations.
These include processing multiple layers of film, chemical treatment, etc.
The four photographs hang in front of partially opened venetian blinds,
through which the light from an invisible source surrounds the images with
a lucid atmosphere lending them an unreal character. The row of photographs
appears to multiply endlessly in the reflections left and right on the
plexiglass against the black walls and in the mirrors against the white
wall in the back. The various superimposed reflections of the installation
dissolve the, at first, polarizing elements of black and white into innumerable
The process of "mise en abyme" continues
in three monitors placed one above the other in which visually transformed
photographs of the "angel" – caressed again and again by a "magical" hand
– pass by. The work also includes an audio tape with music and texts spoken
in English and in French. The aesthetic concept of "Mosaic Identity" proposes
the multiplication and the dissolution of polarizing structures in a pattern
which results in a liberation from assumptions.
Intersexuality thus appears as the representation
of a utopian or atopian ideal, implying much more the splitting within
every individual person than a possible totality. The angel becomes a positive
figure of difference itself, dissolving into countless differences.
Sigrid Schade editor, Linz, Offenes Kulturhaus - Wien, Passagen Verlag,