Art in public space, University Medical Center, Cologne
KÖRPERSPRACHE (engl. Body Language) is a large scale, 24/7 permanent art work in public space. located at the University Medical Center in Cologne / Germany.
In the German language there are countless idioms, (phrases, idioms, proverbs) in which a body part, an organ or a body region is used to expressa particular emotion, idea or action in a figurative sense.
for e.g. (english translation):
- put your hand on your heart
- to take in the eye
- to break over the knee
- widen the view
- turn your back ...
If these expressions are taken literally, or if they are simply putinto a different context, e.g. a medical-therapeutic one, the result is a strangely confusing, not only infrequently comical instructions for action. Thethe self-evident use of some phrases is questioned and the complex connotations of the terms are brought back to life.
A differentiated approach to these idioms emerges.An important intention of our work is in the best case a reflective view of our everyday language and an increased sensitivity in dealing with it.
For the work KÖRPERSPRACHE we use about 200 of these idioms.
48 LED projectors, mounted on the ceiling walls in a defined grid of the ceiling walls project the idioms onto the floor.
The circular shapes and segments and their organic form sets a counterpoint to the constructive architecture and already formally visualizes the themes of life and communication. The individual texts texts remain largely autonomous, i.e. they do not combine
lines and text blocks and are easily readable in both directions by the users of the passageway.
The homogeneous design of the approx. 200 squarem floor area by an organic text projection, as well as the ceiling surfaces structured by 48 LED-projectors are only the outer, static brackets of the work KÖRPERSPRACHE.
The sculptural approach of the work becomes tangible through the use of the student path. Between ceiling and floor
an invisible net of light and text is stretched, which inevitably covers the users of the path.The pedestrians and cyclists are described with words and fragments of text and thus become an important co-creating part of this work.
The terms of human anatomy (eye, ear, hand, foot)
in the idioms, flow over their reference objects
and are modified by them. Signifiers dissolve and take on the form of the signified.
The pictoriality of writing and language and their constant social change is seen here as a wandering, living, changing through use.This idea of change is supported by the possibility to dim the brightness of 24 projectors. For the evening and night hours until midnight a dynamic light choreography is programmed.