MARCK & MARGARETE ADLER: “Wer bin ich?”, 2023

Sep 08, 2023

The question of the self is an existential inquiry that has preoccupied humanity since time immemorial. Are we a collection of molecules acting in accordance with the genetic heritage of our parents? Are we spiritual beings with a soul? Are we a piece of a social fabric conditioned by behavioral patterns? The question of one’s own identity is the cornerstone of the search for the self. Self-perception, self-recognition are indispensable in the quest for the self and are a lifelong process, as personality is in constant flux, constantly changing through social interaction.

The hand-modeled sculpture, created by Berlin sculptor Margarete Adler, is a fragment. The portrait of the woman consists of an interplay of different faces or masks that she removes. There is a play of sharpness and blurriness, intermingling facial fragments. This representation alludes to the complexity of human identity and illustrates how facets of our self are interwoven. Are they facets of her personality, acquired defense mechanisms, or masks of self-deception?

The back of the head is open and has been filled by video projections of the viewers by video sculpture artist MARCK. With the protruding cables, the back of the head resembles that of Medusa, often depicted with snakes as hair, the first woman created by Zeus, symbolizing human fragility and vulnerability driven by her human curiosity. This connection creates an additional layer of symbolism and mysticism. The displayed videos, in turn, show different projections of the viewers, representing the various levels of being and the search for one’s own identity.

The interplay of interior and exterior, digital video installation, and classical modeling of clay also symbolizes the present time and the confusion between the virtual and the real, in which humanity is currently searching for itself. This work marks the first collaboration, initiated by AOA;87, between sculptor Margarete Adler and Swiss video sculpture artist MARCK.