Kaersenhout’s Aorta, an installation of violet-coloured Blacklight, invites reflection on the political meanings of the colour purple, while illuminating the passage between two culturally distinct neighbourhoods of Chemnitz.
In the human body, the aorta is the central conduit from the heart outward to every part of the system, supplying every organ and limb with oxygenated blood. Kaersenhout deploys the bahnholdunterfürung/rail underpass tunnel as a conduit between Sonneberg (a neighbourhood with a large migrant population) and Chemnitz-Zentrum (where the commissioning Kunstsammlungen is situated), a channel to pump new ideas into both the areas it connects.
The entire interior of the tunnel is painted violet, and lit with Blacklight. Kaersenhout chooses violet as a colour that is not associated with any one major political ideology – rather, as the combination of red (as used largely by socialist and communist organisations) and blue (as used by, among others, the AFD). If violet has any contemporary political association, it must be with anarcho-feminism, which see the struggle against patriarchy and oppressive gender norms as part of a wider, essential struggle of class conflict against state capitalism.
“Violet is the color of spirituality. It has the shortest wavelength and the highest vibration of the colors of the visible spectrum of light. Violet offers and inner sense of wholeness. With wholeness comes a sense of ending, completion of a process, and a promise of something new, illumination, rebirth. Violet connects with sadness of letting go and also with joy of transformation. There is peace and tranquility in the newfound knowledge of profound change. Violet color is cleansing and purifying. It is the color of magic, ritual, cleansing, purifying, connecting, mystery, and mysticism. It is a color that allows us to glimpse other realities, beyond our physical and material reality of this earthly existence. It is pure cosmic energy. Violet is a color of reconciliation. Of bringing together polarities – male and female, day and night, hot and cold, heaven and earth, right brain and left brain. In this state of balance, you feel the connection with other beings, with heaven, with earth, with all of Universe. There is no separation, no duality. As you unfold the petals of your crown chakra, you find the seat of your wisdom. You assimilate knowledge and integrate it. You know and you understand. You manifest divinity….”