2016, 6 Inkjet prints on archival paper, mounted on lightboxes, LED lights. 30cmX37cm
“Pangymanstikon,” a term for a device combining several gymnasium apparatuses, is the partial translation of the title of a book by nineteenth century German physician Daniel Gottlieb Moritz Schreber. Dr. Schreber enthusiastically endorsed physical exercise for good mental health.
Evron scanned woodcut illustrations from the pages of Schreber’s book. In each print, two images, taken from front and back of the same book page, were superimposed to create a single composition. The prints are displayed in lightboxes, mimicking the experience of light passing through a book page and illuminating the reverse image as a fainter double.
While the exercises depicted may seem quaint and harmless to contemporary eyes, these illustrations belie a darker truth. Schreber’s influential theories on childrearing were severely harsh; he dictated that children should not be allowed to cry, and that parents should maintain strict control through punishment, including spanking and the use of physically restrictive devices. The results were devastating; three of Schreber’s own children suffered from mental illness. His son Daniel Paul’s memoirs were used in a significant case study by Sigmund Freud to describe what is today categorized as paranoid schizophrenia. (LR)