We Can't Breathe
In the spring of 2015, installation artist Kasia Ozga presented We Can’t Breathe at La Galeru, Fontenay-sous-Bois, near Paris. Ozga’s installation featured two inflatable metre-tall lungs, made from flimsy red parachute fabric, that expanded and contracted at regular intervals. Rising and falling against lurid pink walls, the lungs and wider installation could been countered in two ways; either within the gallery space, where viewers experience the mechanical sounds of a motorised leaf blower; or externally, visible through the large windows from the street outside. In this way, the building itself is animated, the kinetic sculpture acting as an organ that allows it to breathe. The effortless act of breathing becomes a dramatic, performative act, framed within the spectacle of the suburban Parisian space, as the installation can now be viewed via a video that functions like an archive, documenting both the installation and responses to the sculpture. Its attendant performativity, therefore, warrants a reaction, an audience, a crowd.
Jamieson, Anna. & Ozga, Kasia. “We Can't Breathe.” Dandelion: Postgraduate Arts Journal and Research Network 9, no.1 (Autumn 2018). Birkbeck, University of London. doi: 10.16995/ddl.683
Cyborg, Lungs, Haraway, We Can't Breathe