barbara caveng Liebesknochen Trilogie 'Geh Weiter' 2016

„I love to walk at my ease, and stop at leisure; a strolling life is necessary to me: travelling on foot, in a fine country, with fine weather and having an agreeable object to terminate my journey, is the manner of living of all others most suited to my taste.“ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions
©Michaela Nolte


Part I 3p21.1_ rs6976 | 2016/ 2017
Installation: drywall construction| hospital clothes| Photos on Titan | Hospital bed | Showcase with the golden inheritance from mother | Foil prints | Linoleum with notched text | Towel dispenser printed with biographic text.

barbara caveng 'bodywork' from the trilogy KEEP GOING 3p21.1_ rs6976
bodywork | 2017©birdy

“My whole experience is based on walking.

I don’t like biking, I avoid using a car or public transport. I walk. I regard this slow movement as the perfect way to explore my surrounding, submerged in different light and a permanently changing atmosphere. I like the attitude of the flaneur. All of my projects are “walking projects”.

barbara caveng 3p21.1._rs6976

At the end of 2015 I recognized a pain in my right leg. I neglected it, wondering how I’d hurt myself. Over a period of twelve month the pain increased, became an intense ache. I started to limp. Each step was a challenge. The leg lost its power.
I assumed to be overworked. In early autumn 2016 I couldn’t walk up or down the stairs anymore. The edge of the sidewalk seemed to me as insurmountable as the bar in a pole vault. I went to an orthopedist. I told him that I’d hurt myself doing the splits.
“I don’t think so”, he doubted. He didn’t find out was the matter. He sent me to a hospital for an MRT scan.

You’re scans don’t look good.”, he told me on an early morning in his consulting room. I stopped breathing. I heard him saying: “What you have is a advanced cox-arthrosis on both sides”.
„Everyone has to wear out“ Beuys
I tried to walk home.
Surgery preparations began. I was hurt.

barbara caveng Körperarbeit

You don’t die from arthrosis, but the diagnose hit me on the most sensible point: The ability to move freely, to walk, to climb the hills and mountains up to 4000 meters, to run and bounce, to cross landscapes and urban space.
And there was something else: arthrosis was the life long companion of my mom. At the end of her life she was in need of a 4th artificial hip-joint. I turned into the defiant daughter, refusing to carry the heritage of my mom.
The imagination to get one of my bones replaced by metal – even if the four parts of the prothesis looked very aesthetic – felt extremely strange to me. The feeling of my wholesome body was disturbed. The instruments the surgeons would use were similar to the tools for sculpture work: mainly saw and hammer. They would not even sew the wound, but close it with staples.

the body as work site

barbara caveng GEH WEITER  3p21.1_ rs6976 'Körperarbeit'

I asked the doctors for the opportunity to see my bone after the surgery and to make a replica. Finally they agreed.
On the 19th December 2016 I discharged from the hospital. It was exactly the birthday of my mom. I spent the last three hours in my patient room with my bone making a two-component silicon mould. The process was documented by a friend.

The healing process went well. I became very proud of both of my legs. Being conscious that there will be an other surgery I accepted that probably the DNA material of my mom is at least jointly-responsible for my disease (Chromosome 3p21.1. | rs6976).

barbara caveng 'rosegarden' Aus der Trilogie GEH WEITER

My mother died in may 2014. She was an elegant women with a somehow classical appearance. Our taste concerning clothes or jewellery was always very different. I would never wear her golden brooches or necklaces.
In agreement with my brother I decided to transform her jewellery in a replica of the bone – as a dedication to my mom, my bone and the philosophy of walking.

b.c. January 2017

barbara caveng GEH WEITER 3p21.1_ rs6976 Installationview
3p21.1_ rs6976

3p21.1_ rs6976 – Installation | Galerie im Saalbau, Berlin | 2017