Bodies without organs*

Lila Chitayat and Gabi Schillig - 28. August - 14. October 2021


With her installation A casa é o corpo (The House is the Body), the Brazilian artist Lygia Clark made an analogy between architecture and the human organism in 1968. The walk-in work was modeled as the inside of the body and aimed at the interaction between visitors and their immediate surroundings. The parallels between body and space were not unknown:Siegfried Ebeling‘s – Space as Membrane (1926) depicted the wall as a transition stage of forces, analogous to the skin, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe spoke of “skin-and-bones architecture” as early as 1924. 

This approach suggests that building envelopes have become part of our organism. Behind this is an ecological conception of architecture, which can be explained by the fact that both the house and the skin represent instances that are inextricably linked to people. Both function on one hand as a border, on the other hand as a connecting surface that takes on the tasks of a shelter. They not only separate the inside from the outside, but also serve as a place of retreat and reflection from an environment that is changing ever faster. However, especially in times of a pandemic, the perception and function of public and private spaces must be re-thought.

Using the exhibition project Bodies Without Organs in the gallery UNDER THE MANGO TREE, the artists Lila Chitayat (* 1970) and Gabi Schillig (* 1977) explore the relationship between space, body and sculpture. Three fragments that occupy the exhibition space as “satellites” were transferred as an idea from Tel Aviv to Berlin for the project. Their use is open: you can sit on them, touch them, relate your own body to them. In this universal space for communication and action, encounters with a hybrid organism can take place on a multi-sensory level. Chitayat and Schillig overcome supposed spatial boundaries and place the body in an intuitive relationship to the environment and material, to explore the relationship between interior and exterior, the architectural and corporal aspects, challenging the body‘s behavior within this space and the intangible emotions it evokes.

Torso Study, 1984
Acrylic and pastel on black paper
84 x 109 cm , signed
©IW Nachlass / UTMT

Installation Shots

Under The Mango tree

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