It may seem odd to make sculpture in our era of mass communications. If the internet is the information superhighway, sculpture is information before the invention of the wheel. How can sculpture contribute in the cacophony of a media-saturated world? Exactly because it does not do what other media does. Sculpture is mute and physical. It addresses an area of human knowledge outside the realm of language and images. This is the realm of the physical and spatial. Physicists and engineers may try to map and measure it but I am interested in the emotional component of the physical.
The Flesh is Weak
What does it feel like to be a body… from the inside. I am never sure if I succeed at this but it is my aspiration. I want my sculpture to be the physical embodiment of the passions and pains of a mortal, fleshy being, with an emphasis on weakness and vulnerability. We don’t last that long. We’re easy to hurt. We have lots of needs and for long periods of time we are helplessly dependent on others. The key phrase is “physical embodiment”.
Not a Picture of Weakness
I don’t want a picture of weakness (not sure if this is weakness or heroism, but you get the idea), but want to find a physical analogy to the physical passions of the physical body in physical space.
I use the word physical over and over again because the physical is so frequently overshadowed by language and images. We can tend to forget our physical nature and ignore our physical surroundings. So maybe sculpture can help us remember our physicality.
Silent and Still and Voluntary
Sculpture is silent.
Sculpture is still.
Sculpture has multiple views. A truism, I know. But what interests me is that the views are not organized hierarchically or in time. Unlike most arts, the viewer decides on the duration of the piece. They can look at it for a second or for five hours. And the views will unfold for them in any order that they choose.
Perhaps these three attributes of sculpture – silence, stillness and multiple views – are an antidote to the chattering, consuming, controlling, overwhelming, branded media world.