Social role models as an experimental fitting process: With its hollowed out casting moulds in the form of various body shapes, the installation offers a unique and unusual experience to reflect on one‘s own desire to fit into pre-defined frameworks.
The installation consists of 15–20 wooden casting moulds (2m height/1m width) with an inside surface made out of special foam. The moulds are hollowed out with various body shapes and thus differ from each other in terms of body contour, height, width. The installation of the casting moulds invites visitors to question themselves whether they would fit into one of the moulds or not. They can ‘try out’ the pre-shaped moulds, but due to their unique shapes and forms, the probability of a match between the moulds and their own body is very low.
Concept l Meaning and impact
Individualism is a fundamental attitude of our modern western society that places the individual center-stage: personal development, the freedom of the individual as well as the right to express and act out ones own system of thinking and values constitute an essential feature of our western modernity. Nevertheless, the individual always finds itself within a relationship with community. Social interaction is both part of our democracy and a basic need of humans as social beings. The desire of fitting into our community represents by no means a paradox, but rather depends on the idea of human beings as individual entities as well as social beings.
Shapes negotiates various aspects of these two extremes: the need of the individual to fit into a specific social, cultural or political framework in order to have a sense of belonging and to reinforce ones own identity; sacrificing personal beliefs to meet social expectations; a communities level of tolerance towards other communities and individuals distinguishing themselves through a different ethnicity, religion or gender.
This topic is been taken up from an unusual perspective by the casting moulds with their hollowed out body shapes. The moulds translate this area of tension into every-day life and invite to step into predefined (body) shapes. The casting moulds are made out of a special foam, which is very soft but does not adapt completely to the body. As a consequence, the im/possibility to fit into a casting mould an thus into a predefined shape can be experienced through one‘s own body. There will be no complete match with the moulds at any point. To realise that everyone is unique and indeed individual is part of this installation as well as the reflection of our need to fit into predefined shapes no matter what.