acrylic and lacquer on canvas
50 x 70 cm each
«Insectum» (latin) lies at the root of such words as “incision” or “insect”. And indeed do the paintings of various types of barbed wire, of which this cycle is comprised, resemble an insect collection. The scaled up shapes of historical barbed wire typologies appear like strange creatures emerging from a white background. Beyond this association, also the technique, by which they are created, refers to incisions and cuts. In analogy to the functioning principle of barbed wire, the aim of which is to cause pain by wounding the skin and flesh of animals and people and thereby to control movement, the insectum-cycle is not ‘painted’ in a conventional way. Instead, a thin skin of white lacquer is wounded with knives, nails and wires in order to partially reveal a ground coat of thick reds. From the industrialization of the thorn bush to the globalization of pain – the various models of barbed wire, which are at the same time rational inventions and sadistic instruments, unfold a social, political and economic history of modernity. As the contemporary medium for spatial separation, it reduces life to the simple antagonism of flesh and iron.