Notes on Bicycle
Synopsis: The drawing Bicycle is based on transfer prints of the sun’s daily course. It is about movement and stasis and an episode of modern art history.
2014-04-28 – Many artists worked with bicycles. Most of them were male artists, and most were male bikes. I want to use an immobile woman’s bike to record its shadow for one day.
2015-01-11 – Installation: The work will be a large-scale drawing made with graphite on paper. I faithfully reproduced the shadow of a bicycle on paper from dawn till sunset – 7 am to 7 pm. The result is a fragmented wall-filling drawing of 65 overlapping pieces of paper (each 76 x 57cm). The paper sheets are provided with eyelets and hang with magnets on a grid of 330 nails.
2014-04-01 – Two cycles. While appearing as a still life, this composed graphite drawing will record time and movement. The bike is a mobile artifact, yet it is static, and just the sun seems to turn around it. Although the bike is at a stop, the image will show the movement of its shadow. Likewise, in a solar clock, the drawing combines fragments of two astronomic movements: a sample of the circadian rotation of the bicycle around the axis of the Earth, starting from ca. 7 am and ending at ca. 8 pm, and a moment of larger curve of the planet around the sun. Both cycles create an anti-cyclical movement during the daytime, of which the immobile bicycle's shadow is the immediate projection.
2014-08-08 – Ironically, the formal language of the drawing (resp. the shadow) reminds the Futurist representation of movement, although the reproduction of the shadow is determined through the very opposite: the stasis or the non-transient state of the object and the source of light. The futuristic obsession for movement is slowed down by the empirical impression of a standstill.
Not only the object, the observer to is in motion, which is visually experienced as the immobility of the object. This constellation of the bicycle, the observer, and the sun and the contradiction of a planetary movement and empirical stagnancy can be read as a metaphor for contemporary processes which are very different from modern times. one can speculate whether the stillstand would be the new obsession of an updated Futurism. While modernity was seduced by any physical, political, and technological movement, the actual observers are sedated by its delusion. Growth is still possible, but only after an economic crisis. The future is no longer a goal that one must reach with accelerated speed but a scenario to avoid and postpone as long as possible. Skepticism took over the place of the enthusiasm about the future.
2014-08-10 – Futurism was a propulsive movement carried by mechanical and industrial means, men and machines, whereas the Bicycle drawing is the record of a retrograde motion. or something like an anti-futurist torque. It seems as if the whole movement would have started at the end, the stretched forms of a blurry shadow, to culminate in the chaotic center while heading towards its beginning, the sharp shadows of the morning sun. As the Futurist who paid attention to the movement itself yet not to any goal, the drawing is about the illusion of movement and the end of finalism.
2014-04-30 – The drawing also refers to a history that steadily moves on even if things seem on hold. And the women’s bike (bikes with a step-through frame are called Damenrad in German) is crucial since it links to another kind of political movement related to recent happenings in Tunisia. While Maghreb countries are known for fewer self-realization possibilities for women, the merit that Tunisia now has one of the most modern constitutions goes mainly to the women protesters that kicked out the Islamist government. They did not achieve this through actions and sensational and dramatic fighting or rallies but through a durable and persistent protest.