IDENTITY ERASER

( 2017

Interactive installation

220 x 50 x 120 cm

Wood, stainless steel, motorcycle helmet, microphone, speaker, voice changer, raspberry pi camera, raspberry pi, electronic stethoscope, headphones, sound amplifier, mirror, neon lamp, thermal foil )

 

Identity eraser consist of a chrome motorcycle helmet that has a reflective effect on the outside. Built into the interior of the helmet is a voice modulator that is connected to the speakers in the room, a small raspberry pi camera that records the user’s eye and projects the image via a projector onto the wall of the gallery and headphones connected to an electronic stethoscope, which is also wired to the helmet and hangs down from the front.  Whoever puts on the helmet places it in the area of the heart and inside the helmet hears the beating of his own heart. Hanging from the back of the helmet is a mantle made of silver- chrome thermal insulation cape which is often used to keep te victim of a natural disaster warm.  The helmet and cloak are placed on a pedestal upon which a mirror is fixed, and the wires that lead from the helmet are linked to the holder in the form of a metal construction above the helmet, enabling its movement within a radius of 3 to 4 meters.  

 

The idea for the work sprang from how and how much we are formed by the conditions within which we are born in and in which we live.  The reflection of the surroundings on the helmet and the objectivised self (subject or user) through image and sound speaks in favor of the idea of loose identities as constructs of our ego awareness and the shaping of desirable identities from social positions of power. The author detects methods of the formation of these identities breaking human perception down to the fundamental biological processes that react in our bodies to our environment and the circumstances that are crucial in our definition of our image of ourselves and the function of this image in society.  The person who is wearing the helmet loses a part of his or her identity. The head is hidden, the voice changed, the body hidden. Because of the reflective nature of the helmet, the wearer takes upon him or herself the identity, or image, of the surrounding.   At the same time, in the mirror the person sees a „limitless“ reflection.  The motorbike helmet suggests speed and racing, and in fact these are the properties of the contemporary manner of life that comes down to a race for survival and for success and for the kind of identities it is desirable to embody.  The person, then, who is wearing the helmet both reflects the surrounding and, at the same time, is reflected in the same surrounding: looking at their eye on the wall of the gallery as if it were the eye of another, listening to the beating of their heart as if it were a sound that comes from outside.  A weird interweaving of internal and external world of man comes into being, in which reality is reflected in an entirely new manner, as a multidimensional experience in which the hard and fast borders between I and Other fade and vanish.

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