Time & Location
About the Exhibition
The Parafix is a new solo exhibition by Wim Legrand.
The parafix /’pʌrʌfɪx’/ is an archaic predecessor of the taser, its first documented use appearing in Northern European audio-visual records from the 1980s. In appearance, it resembles the common umbrella: a device consisting of a circular canopy of cloth on a folding metal frame supported by a central rod, used as protection against rain. But in function, the parafix is markedly different. Designed to transfix and temporarily incapacitate objects by emitting blue-light rays, it renders the specimen petrified and dazed in a twilight of uncertain dimensions. The technology is lauded by proponents for its ability to waylay antisocial behaviour, while providing marketing companies with unprecedented access to user data. Critics argue that that the mental health ramifications have not been satisfactorily investigated.
The invention is traditionally attributed to Belgian scientist Napoleon, although some contemporary scholars  argue that IBM first released the technology with the Simon smartphone in 1994. Yet others  contest that Tom A. Swift’s Electric Rifle of 1911
was the earliest prototype, with taser inventor Jack Cover naming his design after this lethal weapon.