HD-video projection in a loop, with sound, print on aluminium, 120cm diameter, © 2012 Paula Muhr

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The starting point of the work is a segment of a transcript from the famous Tuesday lessons held in the1880s by the French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, "the most celebrated doctor of his time". These lectures, which concentrated on hysteria and hypnosis, were open to public and attracted a large international audience, including celebrated artists and writers of the time, thereby famously causing traffic jams in Paris. During the lectures, Charcot, also known as Napoleon of neuroses, displayed his hypnotised female patients and provoked their hysterical attacks for the sake of demonstration and as apparently objective evidence of his neurological theories of hysteria.

The segment of the Tuesday lesson, read by a computer generated male voice, focuses on Charcot's demonstration of a provoked attack of rhythmical chorea, a hysterical attack similar to a dance, in an unidentified female patient. This episode is restaged by a dying fly dancing on its back. Against the uniformly blue backdrop, the fly is shown as an almost abstract white form, whose movements appear coreographed and closely follow the logic of Charcot's detached elaboration on the stages and characteristic of spontaneous as well as provoked of the hysterical attacks.

The projection is juxtaposed with an image taken from a medical encyclopedia of an eye in extreme close up, manipulated in order to render it as a rather abstract form in different shades of blue. The image of the eye, among other aspects, underlines the surveillance aspects of Charcot's medical endeavour.