Handgriffe (Manual Manoeuvres) – MedUni Campus Mariannengasse, Vienna

“Manual Manoeuvres is an emotional piece that tenderly explores care as a fundamental element of the medical profession and appeals to educators and students alike. Toni Schmale draws her inspiration from classical sculptures that have survived in the form of fragments and translates these into the present day, thereby creating a connection between old and new structures. At the same time, this installation conveys the idea that the history and depiction of the human body is in inextricably linked to the history of medicine.”

Toni Schmale’s installation consists of fragments of bodies cast in concrete and scaled to 1.5 times their actual size. Positioned within one of the large concrete frames in the foyer of MedUni, they are arranged to interact with one another: e.g. the Heimlich manoeuvre, the recovery position, and the comforting hand. The individual elements are depictions (3D scans) of actual bodies that do not fulfil conventional beauty ideals, but rather mirror real life. The superimposition of the piece with the people sitting and moving on the steps behind it constantly results in new tableaux being created from the artistic intervention in combination with everyday life.