TRYPTYCH: CRANIOMETER, CERAMIC FUSES , BLOOD SAMPLES, 2014, 3 LIGHTBOXES, 51.5×42×14 CM EACH
PROGRESS AND HYGIENE, ZACHĘTA – NATIONAL GALERY OF ART, WARSAW, CURATOR ANDA ROTTENBERG - 28.11.2014/15.02.2015
The Craniometer from around 1920 is an anthropometric device used to measure human skulls. The measurements are presumed to indicate individual traits. On this basis people can be classified, characteristics can be identified with particular races, abnormalities can be indicated and the heritability of traits can be described. Anthropometric research methods and their results were used in the service of eugenics, from which the idea of euthanasia can be derived.
Ceramic Fuses, produced in 1924– 1965, were a symbol of urban life and electrification, identified with progress, light and enlightenment as categories of modernity. The propaganda of racial hygiene cleverly used the ideas of urban hygiene to iso- late, and as a result to remove, undesirable “human material”.
Blood Samples — the eugenicists created projects to improve social health, by methods including the elimination of ‘low- value individuals’, who were said to degrade society through their inheritance of diseases and their susceptibility to patholo- gies transmitted through their bodily fluids, mainly blood. Blood samples from every human look identical, but they contain information that determines individual traits.
Eugenics, (tryptych: Craniometer, Ceramic fuses , Blood samples), 2014, 3 Lightboxes, 51.5×42×14 cm each, Progress and hygiene, Zachęta – National Galery of Art, Warsaw (Curator Anda Rottenberg) – 28.11.2014/15.02.2015