In the colorful history of traveling vaudeville shows throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, various so-called novelty acts had used punching bags as an entertaining display of skill and strength. The martial arts, both military and sport, have a rich tradition of combat training with heavy bags, standing bags, and similar apparatuses used for conditioning, developing striking and kicking technique, power and speed. Traditionally the punching bag is a representation of an imaginary foe.
But who is the foe? In a twist on the bag as a representation, we propose a contemporary multi- faceted view of the bag-punching action, whereby the puncher and punched are equals: both are bags, indistinguishable, at times even merged into one. By taking a snapshot of this colossal event, a frozen moment and form can materialize. This transformation of physical into digital and back again allows for a multitude of transmutations, translations and ultimately, freaks.
The act of punching is often perceived as violent. The project suggests the opposite, offering that punching can be a creative and constructive means of building both one’s self and generating design in the process. Visitors are encouraged to vent and play an active punching role in creating hybrids of the symbiotic relationship between puncher and bag.
Doron Altaratz, Dov Ganchrow, David Oppenheim, Sarit Youdelevich