on “Stendhal labor”, Erratum Galerie, Berlin Art Week, 20th September 2015

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“Stendhal labor”, a healing performance conceived by Carmen Loch in response to Berlin Art Week, brought together subtle irony and genuine desire to sooth. Its targeted “condition” was the Stendhal syndrome- a trance/collapse that one may experience while viewing a significant work of art (or too many, as it was the case with the overwhelming one week event). There were several cures to choose from. I chose the drawing session. Follow me in.

(me=the one with the paper-boy hat)

Partners in this reportage: Carmen Loch, visual artist

1. The setup

The artist- wearing white medical gowns, filled out with a healer’s je ne sais quoi :


One detail I immediately laid my eyes on-a palm leaf starting to rot:

Plant looks withered

2.The healing:

Carmen Loch explains me her work- briefly, then expanded:

Healer s main statement

To start the (drawing) healing session I need to answer a questionnaire:

Fill in the form

And then she draws my portrait, with her eyes glued to my face (therapeutic style):

Hyperfocused portrait

She draws another one, with eyes closed and her hand touching my face:

Hands on portrait

Her hand was cold:

Like a blade

And smelled like cedar:

Smells like cedar

She adds my portraits to her project documentation:

Adding it as documentation

We set at a table, a petri dish with placebo pills in the middle. I kept on thinking at those pills:

With the placebo pills in mind2

Then she said:

It costs

Next room, two other patients were receiving a Tibetan singing bowl session- while being broadcast at some other venue (Vesselroom):

Tibetan bowl session

At the end, we had a formal handshake (for the records):

Professional handshake

That was it; as I was climbing the stairs out of the cellar-like basement, one big-healthy-laugh echoed from inside:

Big laugh behind

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