The girl who kept walking on other people's feet (holding substitute) Vanessa Safavi

stainless steel structure, leather, ceramic, paint The Artist and ChertLüdde, Berlin. Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

In her work, Vanessa Safavi conjures contrasting polarities of cultural concepts by appropriating its visual language of signs and materials. Lately, her work has increasingly focused on the body, addressing conceptual systems of language and personal narratives. She explores and questions the contemporary identity of the body in the constant optimisation of technologies and its cultural impacts in our hyper-organised societies that has definitely driven it to a new sphere of identity and to a complex, vulnerable and schizophrenic fragility. Her work recalls the fragility of our bodies and the poetry that emerges from them.

The work The girl who kept walking on other people's feet (holding substitute) belongs to the ongoing series Holding Substitute which is concerned with the experience of the disarticulated body, and questions the relationship between the brain and the flesh. By gathering pictures of public transport’s grab handles that she has been taking during her travels, Safavi attempts to overcome their mere function as passenger support. Rather than being synonyms of imbalance, disability or stabilisation, they suggest a narrative dramaturgy in which all bodies become actors of a forced and involuntary dance.