Nesa Gschwend Concluding with a Conciliatory Gesture


Daniel Morgenthaler


Gestural activism need not necessarily take the form of clenched fists. More gentle gestures too, can be used for a common purpose. Such as the hands moving towards each other in Nesa Gschwend’s 2012 floor piece “Network”. They augur a collective rapprochement, expressed in the colour of love. And yet, the elongated connections between the hands also remind us of Struwwelpeter’s uncut fingernails, while the blood-red colour has itrresistible echoes of the blood in Thomas Hirschhorn’s collage. The 2012 video “Gestures” filmed with patients in a psychiatric clinic in the east of Switzerland, is more unambiguously conciliatory. For psychoanalysts like Jaques Lacan, verbal language is the manifestation of a split in the human subject. Can gestures perhaps mend that?