Depiction of the body is central to the work of Swiss artist Miriam Cahn, whose decades-long career includes drawing, film, photography, and sculptural objects. Political aspects arose very early in her work with a focus on war.
SCHLACHTFELD/ALTERSWERK is a sculptural work composed of carved tree trunks scattered on the ground. The carvings refer to nature and to skin. Cahn wrote: ‘I have worked and defined these bodies spread about in the field. They had been standing trees and now are prone bodies; a battlefield of work, of bodies, of space. Your body is a slaughterhouse, your body is a battlefield, your body is a battleground’.
Five slideshows of Cahn recomposing plastilin body parts accompany the installation. In them, the artist shapes different body parts into sculptures which are then destroyed. Her photographs of each moment of composition and destruction are assembled into slideshows that convey a reference to art history.