VISITEZ MA TENTE
Curated by Inci Yilmaz
With works by Habima Fuchs, Louise Lawler, Rade Petrasevic, Gerda Scheepers, Martin Weidemann, Josef Zekoff
According to the German dictionary, the word “Fisimatenten” signifies the colloquial “Sperenzchen” (silly escapades). The dialect of the Rhineland, when using “Fisimatenten”, refers to a popular, though refuted, etymological anecdote: During the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-71, officers reputedly issued invitations to romantic trysts in their simple stationary homes with the invitation “Visitez ma tente” (“Visit my tent”).
The tent, as a very small and intimate unit of space, creates an interior and exterior by means of a simple construction, and establishes a spatial sociological situation, which makes for a temporary “possession of space” with ensured protection and scope for unobserved action. From a purely formal point of view, a tent, depending on its type, is geometrically a pyramid. If one connects the anecdotal ‘‘Visitez ma tente’’ with an image of the most important pyramid in the world – the Cheops pyramid in Egypt – an effect emerges, which is known from the advertising industry: the false connection between word and image suddenly appears to be possible. It awakens an illusionary spatial connection of the interiors inherent in this design, and produces an imagination of physical presence. The pictorial attribution of the depiction of the pyramid’s outside, as “my tent” evokes a fantastic spatial experience that undermines the idea of an unspectacular, cramped camping experience, and feeds delusions of grandeur, which are inherent in human beings. While the “tent experience” is accessible to everyone, the “pyramid experience” is much more complicated. Nevertheless, both spatial experiences are conceivable on the basis of the same geometrical character and our knowledge of material and construction. The form and the personal assignment allow the self to find itself in an outsized atmosphere, even without an empirical basis. The mind’s power of imagination, therefore, quite naturally connects the most banal space with the miracle exalted above all rooms, and appropriates the imagined interior without inhibition.
The exhibition VISITEZ MA TENTE focuses on the special relationship between the idea of a space, the physical orientation within an interior and the ultimate personal occupation of the space, and is devoted to the contemporary depiction of interior spaces and their sociological or atmospheric suggestion.