Iris KETTNER (*1968 in Mainz, GER)
Lives and works in Berlin (Germany)
One imagines a superhero as being powerfully built, with upright posture and wearing an imposing costume. The creatures that Iris Kettner titles superheroes, however, seem more like the guys that need saving. They resemble urbanites who have fallen off the grid, pitiful figures who don’t stand out in the anonymity of the concrete jungle. This is precisely what interests Kettner: making the invisible visible – the people no one looks at because they are neither young, beautiful or proud – the faceless. Kettner’s superheroes don’t have faces either – her life-size dolls made from wood and fabric wear masks that are reminiscent of the marvel films, but because of the masks’ contrast to their bodies, they end up looking even more pitiful. Kettner’s “dummies” evoke suitably strong reactions, especially in public spaces – in 2005, the artist installed the superheroes around the underground station Alexanderplatz as if they were part of the crowd, and recorded the reactions of the passers-by on video.