Sunday, 14 March 2010
Re reading a monologue I wrote some years ago about a judge who lived and worked in Saxony in the 19th Century, and who subsequently suffered a massive mental breakdown – has encouraged me to make a paper mock up of Daniel Paul Schreber, the judge in question. He was as vulnerable as a construction of wire and paper.
I began by using thin wire bought from the local hardware shop. I have given him large flat heels reaching out behind him so that by putting a light weight on them he stand up – ‘stand up and be a man’ – as the Nurse says in ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
Her double entendre has meaning in this case. Daniel Paul lived during an age when ‘standing up’ had only one purpose, that of making babies. Masturbation was seen as a deeply shocking and dangerous practice – madness, blindness, death followed on - it was claimed by all upstanding great and good people. Freud had a thing or two to say about Daniel’s mental condition in its relationship to homosexuality, another much feared practice.
For the model, I use pastel paper. I shall give him a shirt and coat, and vest (waistcoat).
Daniel Paul sports a yellow bow tie. Tomorrow, he may go further, and don a pretty piece of material. When he was an inmate of Sonnenstein mental hospital he would dress himself in women’s finery in anticipation of becoming the mother of the Nietzsche’s Superman.