Thomas Zipp “Comparative Investigation about the Disposition of the Width of a Circle”
55th Venice Biennale-
Thomas Zipp Comparative Investigation about the Disposition of the Width of a Circle
More than a month after attending the 55th Biennale Zipp’s work still is in my head. Presented as a singular vision, this installation was all about sickness. Is it the sickness of modern medicine or art?
Walking into the first room with the overwhelming and mood setting circular florescent I sat on the wooden bleachers looking down on helmets and doctor/dentist chairs. My mind immediately wandered to The Clinic of Dr. Gross, is an 1875 painting by American artist Thomas Eakins.
Rooms filled with desks, overfilled ashtrays, lots of very good “bad” painting, a large human-sized hamster-like wheel, photography of masks, galley style sleeping accommodations, and a padded room with a painting hidden in the closet makes me think Zipp is trying to heal himself of his intuition and natural inclinations.
The exhibition is open to the public 1 June until 24 November 2013.
Open Wednesday to Monday from 10.00 until 18.00 Free Entry Tuesday closed
The exhibition concept of Thomas Zipp from the press release
The complex title of Thomas Zipp’s proposal for his project in the Palazzo Rossini, touches upon two levels of meaning. On the one hand, he refers to the lyrics of ‘The Width of a Circle’ from 1970 by the English musician, David Bowie; on the other, to the phenomenon of research onto hysteria. Bowie, himself, referred in his lyrics to various parables and themes in Friedrich Nietzsche’s ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’, whereby he was mainly interested in his sexual relationship with his ‘Devil’, drugs.
At the same time, Thomas Zipp’s project references the French term, ‘l’arc de cercle’, how it was coined in the second half of the 19th century in the famous hospital for the insane, ‘Salpêtrière’, in Paris, and where an encyclopaedic documentation of this ‘disease’ originated.
Particularly interesting for the artist is the invention of and research into the pronounced symptoms of hysteria as undertaken by doctors at ‘Salpêtrière’, especially Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893). For Zipp, the transformation of such an invention to a ‘quasi-artistic’ level is foregrounded, comparable to the irrefutable ‘sexual relationship’ to drugs, as exemplified in the case of David Bowie. In Thomas Zipp’s installation, a version of a research institute is to be shown that will not solely deal with hysteria but also with the duality in one person (schizophrenia) – in this case, the person of the artist, who will be doctor and patient simultaneously. – The ‘research institute’ developed by Zipp encompasses eight parts, which concurrently stand for the rooms of a fictional psychiatric clinic: reception, director’s office, library, treatment room, bedroom, auditorium, anger room and hallway, in which the artist wants to realize his idea of the virulent clinic.
Campo Manin 30124 Venice, Italy
(between Accademia and Rialto Bridge)
Open daily: 10 am – 6 pm