I've completed my most recent endeavor - a tower of sorts. Earlier this semester, I built a similar sculpture that resulted in a charred studio and headaches for all. After much hesitation, I decided to re-build the piece (though it turned out quite different). This time I built a sturdier inner armature of steel (last time I used cardboard boxes) and eliminated the oil-based polyurethane thought to be the main culprit of the flash fire. This one is a real mash-up of textures and materials. Can you guess what all I used?
Though it started out as more of a formal/material process driven piece, this sculpture has come to embody a lot of the concepts that have been driving my studio practice over the past few months. I've been reading some stuff by Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, and Georges Battaille - all dealing with kind of kooky psycho-sexual subject matter that could also potentially be read into my work. In this piece, there's definitely an aspect of desire... Rococo in style, cake-like in form - but the allusions to the body/flesh make it equally as yucky (pussy, oozy, etc.). So it exists somewhere in between. Desire and disgust. What interests me most is how these two distinctions don't/can't exist on their own. There's often something kind of disgusting about desire, right? Eating a cake this big would make anyone throw up on the spot. And vice versa... like squeezing a ripe and ready blemish... how something that's extremely disgusting by nature somehow elicits such an odd sense of satisfaction.
Another idea I'm thinking about in this piece is Lacan's theory of "lack" (or "manque" in French), which suggests that desire always arises out of lack. I've not studied this material in depth, but I like where it is heading and think it's quite relevant in respect to my current body work. There are other things I could try to explain, but I think I'll stop stop here.
Materials include fiberglass insulation (pink and yellow), urethane spray foam ("great stuff"), balloons (white, clear, and pink), hot glue (of varying tones), caulk (of varying tones and textures), landscaping fabric, joint compound, string, water putty, silly string, and more!
This sculpture will spend the summer at Montpelier Art Center for their 31st Annual Invitational Sculpture Exhibition! The show opens on June 7th and will be up through mid-August.