04 November – 17 December 2022
Artisttalk with Yvon Chabrowski and Marijke Lukowicz (curator Urbane Künste Ruhr), 24 November 2022

We enter the exhibition and perceive a constantly changing sound. The legs bent, the body pressed against the glass, life-size in the frame of a 65-inch monitor. Eyes briefly lost in the texture of a green sweater, reminiscent of a green screen in its coloration, wander across the various reference planes of the image.
Yvon Chabrowski performs herself: first tapping and pressing herself carefully against the glass screen, then letting herself fall against it with the full force of her body. The inside of the monitor acts as a resistance with which her physical force is measured.

The work GREEN offers us a moment of self-questioning and opens the exhibition CONTINUED ATTEMPT. The works in the exhibition speak in a variety of ways about the relationship and interactions between our bodies and their media representation. Various performative experiments set this relationship in motion.

The presence of bodies in media images is an integral part of our everyday life, which is increasingly digitalized and shifted to social networks. Yvon Chabrowski’s video sculptures analyze constructions and realities of these media image worlds, as well as their limitations.

In the work BODIES IN TRANSITION, for example, we encounter the performer Ayşe Ohron and the actor Benno Fürmann life-size on an ever-faster treadmill. Both performers wear costumes that serve traditional body images of binary gender: the muscular man and the slender woman. In the course of the performance, both detach themselves from their gender-specific attributes and open up a possibility to form gender-neutral body images. The treadmill can be read as a symbol for the rampant mania of self-optimization.

In the work KINESIS | GLITCH, Yvon Chabrowski’s upper body and head are taped with Kinesio tape. The body appears rigid, the tape pulls on the skin, fixes and holds back. Movement is restricted, as is the gaze, which blurs with the monitor’s malfunctions. Kinesio sports tapes, which are otherwise supposed to support functional mobility, tip into the opposite here. Control over the body remains, if only with difficulty. It a self-assertion against the body images attributed from the outside.

The performance for the video sculpture HEADS was developed by Yvon Chabrowski in cooperation with the bostwanese performer Mmakgosi Kgabi. Using raw clay, the artists take turns sculpting their heads. Layer by layer, the head is encased. The hands press full into the soft material, leaving traces and shaping it into its form. Breathing clearly audible under the clay globe.
Moments of trust alternate with moments of togetherness. In HEADS, perspectives, glances, screen surfaces, mirror images, projections and memory images condense and culminate in a space of experience and association. This space is not only perceptible in the video sculpture, but also physically in the exhibition space. The sound elements of the performance are arranged into a dense field on the floor, in which one can move carefully and which can be experienced haptically at the same time.

CONTINUED ATTEMPT. As with Christa Wolf’s essay collection of the same name, Yvon Chabrowski’s exhibition is a soliloquy, an attempt to make contact and a reflection on the present.

Yvon Chabrowski’s video sculptures are reflection process transformed into spatial settings. In doing so, she explores how media images, historical narratives, and traditional body images inscribe themselves into our own bodies. Each video sculpture is a performative thought space within which new perspectives open up.
In the process, the viewers become part of the image; they can only find answers in themselves.

[Laura Gerstmann, 2022]