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amo ergo sum



Renate Bertlmann

About the installation “WASHING DAY”

The latex skins, also known as Streicheleinheiten (or caresses), are central to the art complex IRONIE – part of the trilogy AMO ERGO SUM. Skin is functionally the most versatile, as well as the largest organ of the human body, an organ through which we interface with the world in most diverse ways and through which we most intensively experience nearness and distance, cold and heat, tenderness and pain, life and death. The spatial installation Washing Day is composed of over 100 pieces of variously shaped latex skins hung on several clotheslines, like items of laundry. The artist’s formation of the surfaces with nubs of different sizes and shapes is an ironic attempt at extending skin as an organ of boundary, alluding to the longing for human touch and at the same time, to the fear of erotic degeneration. Vaginal forms, nipples, and castings of pacifiers likewise suggest phallic forms; masculine and feminine attributes permeate each other in a transforming cleansing ritual.
Translation: Melissa Lumbroso