Public Monument: Carlos, 1998
Galerie Gabriele Rivet, Cologne.
A 70ies ball-TV set is showing a scene of approximately one hour, recorded in a Cologne pedestrian-zone: It depicts a handicap from Brazil who’s name is Carlos. Just with his two crutches and his head he is keeping a ball masterly in the air. Carlos immediately attracted my attention, as I have been touched, how he turned his objective weakness into personal potency of an amazing presence in form of a so far never seen image, that obviously fascinated not only me. He has been suggestive of identifying himself completely with his activity. Nothing at him has let pity arise. His charisma was strong and he created a place where no place has been without. His public however also the masses passing in the Christmas-purchase-intoxication respected a surface of about 50 square meters as his, despite of the overcrowding pedestrian-zone.

Thus Carlos is temporarily appropriating the public space (not only in Cologne) in unique way and is defining himself for a while as a identity donating part of the respective public area: Carlos turns into the authentic monument, that indeed stimulates to reflect on the complexity of the public as well as on its paradoxes.

After the first meeting, I have returned many times and have watched him again and again. Thus we finally came into the conversation and have met different times. The desire grew to be able to film him with a fixed setting. The precise movements of his crutches, their different angle-positions, that were emphasized by the “click clack” of his crutches and the surprising effect of his present also on the perception of the surrounding department store-architectures, would best represented this way. Finally, I explained him, what I wanted to do, and ask him if he would mind. It wasn’t a problem for him and moreover I refused to be paid by me. Actually he has been happy and proud that he could help me to make an artwork through his own work.

Round TV-set, DVD, Player