A white and clean surface with several body prints hovering almost weightlessly above the ground fills the whole floor of the small, almost square-shaped corridor of an old baking factory. The lightness of the material and the ease of the sitters are perceived through the negative space, which is immortalized in the undulating surface of the plaster. A second glance reveals the incompatibility of a material as heavy as plaster with a soft pillow – an absurd, thrilling illusion.
Despite the striking contrast between the clean plaster cast and the charged atmosphere of the rough, industrial surroundings, the room installation appears as an integral part of its location. This could be due to the relationship between the plaster and its environment, which creates a connection between the body parts and the ground and can be seen in the omitted areas revealing the materiality of the floor. The image of upright sitters also mirrors the room’s struts and particular symmetry.
The ambiguity and conflict created by contradictory elements such as bight and dark, soft and firm and light and heavy, allows the observer to discover some unexpected meta-levels. Reflecting on the room installation in the context of the exhibition – a collaboration between two academies and two countries – reveals that diversity and bipolarity can be force for unity. According
to the artist, the large number of people who helped set up the room installation were participants rather than helpers. Lepper also notes that three of the most important aspects of schweben were: viewing the inside of a corridor from two perspectives, encouraging a large group of people to collaborate in the process, and using different body types as models for the prints.
© Yevgeniya Lelgant