Amongst vapors and humidity, bodies are cohabiting in a space of distinct temporality, in which physical intimacy makes emotional intimacy possible.
In light of these variable intimacies, spaces known to us since the dawn of time allow for physical and metaphysical spaces to merge: sweat rooms, public baths, hammams, the sento, hot springs… embody, beyond hygiene, the fusion of sociality, well-being and spirituality.
For their second exhibition at Everyday Gallery, touche–touche invites us to dive into the realm of the bathhouse in order to question its atmosphere where fluidity, evanescence and vaporous desires become one.
Tiled bathroom, buckets, rows of taps, shower heads, a few bathtubs and a large decorative painting adorn the back wall. So much for the decor. Bodies are pampered, coated, touched, rubbed and caressed. Public baths, whatever their origin, tell us about a place of togetherness, where a multitude of ambivalences are reflected in the fusion of fire and water.
A space that submerges us in warm humidity.
Our desires are fluid. Our skins, quivering antennae, shiver at the sight, touch and smell of the other. They are increased in possible otherness.
When the door of our desires opens, it takes us out of our boxes to allow ourselves to surf on the back of crocodile scales.
Slippage can occur on skin-like surfaces.
Surrounded by steam, the gallery’s transparent surfaces are adorned with words, inscriptions, signs, like traces left after the practice of a ritual. They surround us in the exhibition space, water spider sculptures and shapeless apparitions enclose the space, evanescent liquid spirits evaporate into stormy projections.
What do you see when you look inside with your eyes closed?
Perhaps you have already seen this chimerical entity, heron-boa-root? Perhaps you have seen the mist imitate smoke at dawn? Perhaps when you dance, the air becomes concentric and vibrates, your arms lianas, azure waterfalls. Perhaps... perhaps, like the bat, you emit ultrasounds that allow you to echo-locate your mental space and see the holographic reflections of your innermost thoughts.
It is plausible that you observe at night surfaces so vividly intertwined that their movement becomes a symphony. That the sounds emanating from them have always been in your ear, that you hear them without paying attention to them, yet they are part of you, of me, of us.
Black. It’s dark. Do you remember? Down and out, surrounded by intense bass. It is dark. You don’t even know if it’s day or night. You have no sense of time, you’ve been here for several months, I have to say.
You walk in circles. The space is hot, wet. You wish you didn’t have to leave. You feel good in this cave.
You are immersed in it. You are getting more and more comfortable, you are sailing on sight. Gravity is working and soon you will have to get out. It doesn’t matter at what time of day or night this sudden crossing of the waters occurs.
That’s it: you will be born!
Carolin Gieszner and Théo Demans invite us to rethink a multiplicity of schemes. They propose a matrix of reconnection to ourselves, the world, our deepest sense of it, linked to layers of thoughts and realities, spiritual and ancestral, which rub against each other and with each other, as much as they are invitations to land on the shores of the reconsideration of our sensibilities.
Text by Emilie Pischedda