February 20, 2017 by Liat
A project by Stine Endresen and Stine Y. Pedersen Åsli
After trying wheelchairs ourselves, we got inspired by sharp edges. Both trying a wheelchair and research gave us a small understanding of how little it takes to make it harder for wheel- chairusers in the everyday life. While analysing our research we discovered some interesting topics where people felt looked down at or where they needed help. From this we got keywords like heights, obstacles, feeling helpless, feeling like a burden and like they don’t t in. By mixing sharp edges with the idea of a maze, we could make people feel lost and confused, and to give them the experience about moving around where it’s narrow.
Our concept, ”Fragile” is based on the feeling we want the audience to have. We want them to experience how it is to walk around in an environment that is unstable, uncomfortable and insecure. The focus is on the mental instead of the physical, and the aim is to put the audience in a new situation so they can experience how it is to not being able to choose the easy way. By creating walls that are low, narrow and sharp – the audience are forced to walk in a way that is unfamiliar and unpredictable.
”Fragile” represents a bad day, or a cave with a gathering of negative thoughts or feelings. Sounds of dripping water from a cave will be played to create the feeling of loneliness and to make you think. Lights moving across their faces can give them ashbacks or make them re ect. The visitors will feel trapped inside the cave and have to decide where they want to exit.
The installation has four entrances or exits so the visitor can choose where to go, but to get the proper experience they should go the whole round. ”Shortcut” exits can be used if the visitor feel unease or wants to see the installation from another view. It starts with a narrow entrance where it ́s dark and the wall of rust surrounds you. At the other side you meet a transparent wall where it ́s open and light which invites you to re ect. The biggest exit is brighter and more plea- sant to go through. This represents that even on a bad day, you will nd something positive.
Bright scene lights from the ceiling will break through the holes in the wall and make patterns inside the installation. Coming from above can be associated with others who is always spea- king or looking down at the wheelchair user. The shadows make the different walls blend toget- her so it feels dif cult to navigate for the visitor. We want to use different materials as metal and transparent plastic representing the different con icts a wheelchair user has to deal with, and to create more confusion for the visitor.
Two of the walls are covered with rust that represents loneliness because the material is aban- doned not maintained, but also hope and deep emotions because of its warm colors and sha- des of red. You also want to keep distance because of the texture.
The other walls are made of bent, transparent plastic to be associated with broken glass. It re- presents fear and danger because it’s sharp and pointy, insecurity because it’s hard to see, and fragility because it’s unstable and looks like it’s easy to break.
Our goal with this abstract installation is to give the visitors an instight of how a bad day for a wheelchairuser might be, but that even on a bad day you will nd something positive. The installation is open for interpretation, so it depends on the vistior which feelings and thoughts they will receive