There is a tension inherent in every touch, and every tender gesture. While tender touches can be supporting, enabling, uplifting and protecting, they can easily turn into attempts of fixating or controlling the other, not letting them leave from an embrace.
In this second constellation, soft earth, unburned, we worked along the sculptures of Auguste Rodin, reading them as examples for a certain kind of tenderness, that is structured as between master and model, between sculptor and material. While Rodins sculptures contain careful observation and gentle, affective ways of sculpting, John Berger characterizes them as illustrations of Rodins wish for domination, of never letting the sculpted escape his hands, his weight, his gaze.
For us, Rodins example wasn't idosyncratic but rather the expression of societal structures, through which we are always forced into certain roles. Tenderness and care are more often than not only available to those, that are willing to adhere to these roles. Tenderness becomes in these cases a practice of reaffirming and fixating people into predefined molds.
Therefore we wanted explore these tender structures which tie us into certain places, while trying to maybe discover ways of tenderness, that are queer to the relation of master and model and more coequal.
This constellation, was the result of our research in 2022 and especially a week-long resideny in August at AtelierSiegele in Darmstadt. To conclude the residency Anno Bolender, Ira Wichert, Pia Louise Jahn and Lukas Picard staged a preview of the developed material - a combination of drawings, sculpture, choreography, texts, sound and other practices. Balduin Mund filmed the preview beautifully.