'Untitled (object)' 2011-12 features the artist cast in the form of a classical nude. At first statuesque, the artist’s face and body seems calm and dusted with frost as if released from a cryogenic time capsule. The slow degradation of the figure is documented in a series of photographs. Cast in synthetic wood filler, a material conventionally used to conceal imperfections, the material has been manipulated to create this revealing self-portrait which transitions and decays quite rapidly after being cast.
The images are at once beautiful and haunting. Their apparent aging is visceral as we witness cracks and crevices emerging in their surfaces, and the body tilts forward under the burden of its own weight. The figure responds to exposure to the air and the passing of time – creasing and shrinking, overrun with fault lines, and slowly crumbling down to an abstract pile of rubble.
This work explores our relationship with antiquity, and the importance we afford the past. It is perhaps also significant that the figure of a contemporary artist is subjected to this process, a figure in constant dialogue with conceptions of the future and debts to the past. The positioning of the body and the ‘hoodie’ over its head and shoulders imbues the work with both a classical and a contemporary sensibility. The past exists here in the ruins of the future.
archival pigment inkjet print
1/5 + 2 AP
80.0 x 204.0 cm each frame :
a - photograph; 80 x 204 cm
b - photograph; 80 x 204 cm
c - photograph; 80 x 204 cm
d - photograph; 80 x 204 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2012
Not on display
© Tim Silver
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Parallel Collisions: 12th Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 02 Mar 2012–29 Apr 2012
Referenced in 3 publications
Christopher Allen, The Weekend Australian, ‘Elastic Conceits’, pg. 14-15, Canberra, 31 Mar 2012-01 Apr 2012, 14, 15. Review of Parallel Collisions: 12th Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.
John McDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Infinite possibilities’, pg. 12-13, Sydney, 10 Mar 2012-11 Mar 2012, 12, 13 (colour illus.). Review of Parallel Collisions: 12th Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.
Dylan Rainforth, The Age, ‘Wandering between the lines’, pg. 17, Melbourne, 04 May 2012, 17. Review of Parallel Collisions: 12th Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.