Pimpuli is eclectically filled: On the floor are rubber-like silicone casts of two military sleeping bags. Germing potatoes and the casts of potatoes are hidden in the installation. Small light objects wind around old, metal chewing gum machines, which are placed in a circle in the middle of the room. They serve as bases for curved aluminium rods, which are fan-shaped and thus form a dome. The construction has long bars welded to the ends of which crocodile clamps are attached. Like spearheads, they are aligned in the center. In the middle: a white fabric ball which is pulled apart by the clamps from all sides like a large chewing gum.
Opposite the large installation is a framed drawing. Gehlen took the depiction from the science fiction comic Hard Boiled by Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow (1990). The picture shows a portait of Nixon. It is a Unit Four robot embedded in a human body and programmed with the memories of deceased people. Several cables are stuck in his flesh, his face is painfully distorted.
The many clamps in Nixon’s skin read like a footnote to the fabric ball pulled apart from all sides in the installation. The white body also appears subject to foreign influences that try to counteract its “nature”. The clamps pinch, pull and pull at the tissue, hold it under their control and lock it in this strange metal cage.
Below the aluminium construction are two thousand plastic spoons, forks and knives. They’re in the openings of the old chewing gum boxes. I am thinking of the molluscs of the supporting programme. “We wanted to fly and found that we had plastic spoon wings. We flew so close to the sun that the plastic began to melt. So we flew on without wings. “* Some people grabbed a spoon from the wrong machines.
The installation was deconstructed for the finissage. The cage stood on the floor and the chewing gum boxes were built up to a wall. A paper collage appeared on the boxes: a cat biting into one hand.
Pimpuli offers an inexhaustible variety of visual and narrative details. Chewing gum, plastic cutlery, Nixon, flesh wounds and the memories of deceased strangers: the work tells stories. And at the same time it is a stage for performance, poetry and music. Everything that emerges from this scene of bizarre stories is absorbed by Pimpuli like an energy field and processed into a large plastic collage.
Thorsten Krämer readings during the framework program: From the Life of the Molluscs