© 2018 by Devin Martini

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Photos © Susanne Quehenberger 2016

THE BABY WITH TEETH

MULTIMEDIA INSTALLATION 2016

Kevin Wilson's short story "The Baby with Teeth" was the driving impulse behind this installation, which was developed together with scenographer Susanne Quehenberger.

Our installation adopts the perspective of the story's narrator, endowing Wilson's baby with a magnified sense of mystery and moral ambivalence: The protagonist views the infant both as a lustful, animalistic, Dionysian symbol of freedom, and a figure of uncanny terror, disease, and disgust.

These perceived virtues and vices are coded in the twisted symbolism of the space, which depicts – depending on the angle of observation – a child's bedroom, a temple, a tomb, or the scene of an unimaginable carnage. Two guardians – white teddy bears – speak too to this ambiguity, alternately soothing and savaging visitors to their domain.

"Reason, too, recognized itself as being duplicated and dispossessed of itself: it thought itself wise, and it was mad; it thought it knew, and it knew nothing; it thought itself righteous, and it was insane; knowledge led one to the shades and to the forbidden world, when one thought one was being led by it to eternal light."

Michel Foucault

Madness