Organic bodies react to crashes like the inorganic ones. Like an industrial pile of metal and bolts, the joints open and break ceasing to function in a proper way. Sometimes a mechanical support it is needed to preserve elementary abilities such as walking, modifying the human body through technologies that perform a different kind of movement.
The rubber wheels slowly crackle on the asphalted ground within a completely static frame. Charis‘ not entirely human shadow moves forward tenaciously towards the center of his homeland: what was the formal international airport of Nicosia before its brutal and senseless abandonment. He crosses the Buffer Zone controlled by the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP), alone in the arid desolation of this no man’s land caught between two latent fires.The man breaks into the barrier of barbed wire blocking the entrance of the shattered airport, going through the maze of destroyed corridors and decaying stairs to get into the departures lounge, transgressing the prohibition of UNFICYP who have forbidden the access to the area for safety reasons.
The contradictory nature of the action is objectified in a risky pilgrimage done by a paraplegic man whose kinetics capacities are sartorially restricted by CAROL CHRISTIAN POELL‘s clothing and rubber block shoes, designed to obstruct the traditional ways of movement. The sloping ramp to get to the first floor of the building, where the waiting room is placed, imposes an additional gravitational restriction. Entering the departure terminal, once vibrating heart of the terminal and epitome of hopes and expectations, he finds himself in a miserable crumbling room. The centermost point of his country turned into the nest of filthy pigeons and the rustle of their plucked wings remains the only bitter memory of flight. There is nothing to wait for in this deserted waiting room and the only possible delay is a never-ending one, which condemn to a solitary death while hoping that life might flow again between those broken walls. The movement itself conceptually translates into a factual stillness, as Charis‘ ends up in the same emptiness of his journey’s initial setting, as if he moved in circle, stepping from a dead end to another, suggesting a stifling condition that may refer to the current political-military status quo of the country.
Deepti Barth‘s lens catches with raw realism the irrational odyssey of the paraplegic Greek-Cypriot denying to the development of facts any linear narration. The time is fragmented into frames that reflect the paradoxical nature of the depicted events. The themes of restriction and transgression are explored by the artist with bitter and sharp irony. Each limit imposed by the incidental circumstances is sarcastically transcended: the locked door does not avoid the man’s entrance into the building as well as the shoes dipped in rubber do not block his movements, as they immobilize the limbs but not the wheels of a wheelchair. The superficial idea of a “common safety” militarily defended and politically recognized is rejected by Barth through the representation of Charis‘ provocative act, which also questions the conventional expectations towards movement.
Transgression is to push the body to its own kinetic and reasonable limits, where it uncovers new limits, in an infinite procedure, that instead of liberating the body from its confines, imposes new limits that must be again transgressed.