Photo: Magdalena Korpas
Actress, photographer, conceptual artist – Magdalena Korpas is an all-round talent. In Stigma, her most recent project, she addresses a taboo topic – and relies on GELITA ballistic gelatine for its implementation.
“Creativity is an essential part of my life. Everything I do is based on a concept,” says Korpas, who was born in Gdansk, Poland and now lives in London after working in Paris and Los Angeles. With Stigma, she dedicates herself to the topic of Genetic Sexual Attraction. This catchword, abbreviated as GSA, refers to the sexual attraction between blood relatives who first meet as adults. “In Los Angeles, I met a woman who lived in a GSA relationship."
The Stigma art installation is dedicated to the subject of Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA). It is intended to encourage observers to reflect on society.
Magdalena Korpas let two gelatine heads sink into a cube filled with gelatine.
Korpas spoke with psychologists and researched the subject intensively. The London agency House of Greenland gave her the opportunity to realize her project as an artist in residence. “Since people who live in a GSA relationship do not want to appear as such in society and would rather be transparent, I wanted to work with a transparent, slightly colored material. That’s how I came up with the idea of using ballistic gelatine,” Korpas explains.
The gelatine art installation was designed to be part of a trilogy that also included her feature film Constellations, and photographic works. Korpas contacted GELITA, and the company not only supplied her with materials, but also gave her useful advice. “I wanted to create a cube made of gelatine in which I would embed two heads, also made of gelatine. I hadn’t had any experience with gelatine before and was therefore very grateful for the many helpful suggestions from Christoph Simon, my contact at GELITA. I learned from him, for example, the temperature and quality of the water best suited for optimum dissolving and result.”
To start with, Korpas made plaster casts of faces, which she then filled with ballistic gelatine dissolved in water. Once the mass had hardened, she removed the plaster mold and reworked the face. “I wanted to show how tragedy and stigma deform a person’s features.” The artist then prepared the gelatine for the cubes. “It was tricky finding the right time to insert the heads into the gelatine cubes. The gelatine mass of the cubes still had to be soft enough to allow the heads to sink in, but it could no longer be hot enough for them to dissolve,” says Korpas, describing the challenge and laughing: “It took a lot of patience”. Korpas spent three months working on the objects, which were subsequently exhibited in London. You can view Magdalena Korpas’ art installation on her website. There is also a video showing how it was created.