The “Title Suspended” installation by renowned artist Anri Sala is the ninth and penultimate installment in the “Double” exhibition series at MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt/Main.
Sala’s installation “Title Suspended” (2008) presents two plastic hands stuck in violet thin rubber gloves. They slowly revolve endlessly around their own axis. Viewers soon perceive the reference to one of the most important works of art history: Sala’s reconstruction of this detail alludes to one of Michelangelo’s central frescos, namely “The Creation of Adam” in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. It shows God the Father, who is trying with his outstretched finger to reach Adam, who lies on the ground, to instill him (and by extension humanity as a whole) with the spark of life. However, the viewer does not actually see the moment when the finger touches the body. Anri Sala gives this artistic idea a grotesque spin in his installation. The fingers in the hands cyclically swiveling around their axis gradually fill out until they seemingly emulate Michelangelo’s figure perfectly. Yet in the very moment when the representation achieves absolute beauty, the gloved fingers collapse. The desire for touch remains unfulfilled. The antibacterial and anti-allergic sterile gloves prevent any bodily contact.
Dagmar Kürschner, who is in charge of the “Double” project at MMK, comments that “this vivid installation is an example of the poetry of Sala’s works: It offers viewers not only a dense atmospheric image with multiple levels of interpretation, but is infused with subtle humor, too.”