HELLO LADY Isabel Schmiga's installation creates an orderly field by populating a room with stiffened men's ties that resemble snakes standing on end. The Artist creates a set of paradoxes first by reversing the conformable material into something unbendable, stiff, and upright. The uncanny sculptures stand poised pointing at the ceiling. Upon first look the curious objects seem to defy gravity, as though hung by a string. A self-sustaining stature gives the innocent fabrics a threatening austerity that defies the expressive colored patterns. Yet, being fixed to the floor makes them at once vulnerable in their precarious upright position, as though you can feel their immobility. The tiniest push would seem to flatten them and it is easy to imagine the ties going limp at any second forming a pile of rags on the floor.

Removed from their business attire confection the ties enact their own evolution, like man's evolution from four-legged creature to erect bipedal Homo sapien. Peering over their tallest point at eye-level the viewer is put in contest with their presence. In a sense, then, Isabel Schmiga reenacts the rituals of masculinity that occur somatically in everyday encounters. How a cobra rises to threaten his foe is not unrelated to how a man asserts himself in the world. Just as the statesman's very stateliness symbolizes the violence his survival allows, these male articles of clothing are given over to the intemperance they are socially meant to hide.

Curator in residence 2006, PLATFORM GARANTI, Istanbul

Ties, metal sheed
Site-specific dispersion