Maria Peters  / E
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The Case of Marie 23
A work for the group exhibition "Raum der Geburt", Hidden-Museum, Fraxern, Vorarlberg, 2013
A project by Bernhard Kathan

In preparation for and to accompany the exhibition project, "The Case of Marie 23" was also created as an Internet story
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Thanka Marie23 im Hidden Museum, 2013

View of exhibition, Hidden Museum, 2013
The bed in the foreground is a work by Austrian artist Günther Gstrein

The project "Raum der Geburt" was concerned with means of optimizing life and with artificial insemination (e.g. the public in the space listened to a sound work by Bernhard Kathan about "Cows as surrogate mothers"). Asked to make a contribution to this project, I continued the life story of the character in Michel Houellebecq's novel:

In his book “The Possibility of an Island” Houellebecq writes about the “neo-humans” and their predecessors (that is, we human beings), who had left behind their DNA and so, through continual cloning, had achieved a form of immortality. The “neo-humans” get sustenance through photosynthesis like plants. And as there is no longer any need for reproduction, naturally there is no sexuality, either, and therefore no reason for individuals to meet each other. The neo-humans have learnt of love's torture and misery and of mortality from the diaries of the original DNA donors. But they also hear of the joys and intensity of the former human beings' lives.

Marie 23, a character in the novel, is therefore an unwilling Artemis. She suffers under neo-humanity, she longs for love and vitality. She even longs for pain and death. She leaves the protected place that ensures her survival and the chance to be cloned again, and disappears into the unknown wilderness.

The work “The Case of Marie 23” is the continuation of this character from the novel and shows her wandering through Europe's almost abandoned landscapes in search of emotion and vitality.

While working on the image for this project, the idea also emerged to invent the life stories of all Marie 23's predecessors, as well. And so this work is the beginning (and simultaneously the final chapter) of the cycle of works, "Lost to regain".
I myself, and from the beginning it was obvious to me, play the role of Replacement 08 in this story.



    The Case of Marie 23 (4-part work)

    Above: Thanka (rolled image on fabric), mixed techniques, 150 x 364 cm, 2013
    Below left: Diary, pencil on paper, A5, 2013   Below right: Sleeping Bag with Wooden Pole, 2013
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