Un corpo senza organi - A Body Without Organs
Solo Exhibition, DelBrenna Showroom and Studio: Viccolo Corazzi, Cortona, Italy. November 2013
For ancient and contemporary societies alike, clay has long been used as a material in the creation of vessels. These objects, shaped from the earth, function to hold water, preserve food, and perform other duties needed to sustain human life. My most recent figurative works in clay function as vessels as well. These sculptures embody and bear witness to the struggle of the Human-Vessel, for unlike containers of wine and water, the individual strives to hold something beyond the bounds of physical sustenance.
I became interested in the idea of the “vessel,” during my time in Italy, after observing in abundance examples of Etruscan pottery and Christian iconography. In Catholicism, Saints are worshipped as Vessels of the Spirit, for their bodies hold something that is not simply of the flesh—they are living, human vessels of Christ. Even upon death, their dismembered, empty bodies continue to be worshipped and preserved as sacred relics. This universal desire to assign the body meaning outside of its physicality is manifested in a variety of rituals and systems of belief throughout the world. It is this attempt to understand the unarticulated aspects of life through the tangible vessel of the human body that propels my work.
The formal tension resulting from the juxtaposition of the built, abstracted forms with the casted reproductions of the body reflects the internal struggle of being both full and hollow. In manipulating, mutilating, and reforming casts of my own face, breast, and vagina, I attempt to give a silent voice to my own, internal struggle of emptiness in a country not my own, in a home not my own, in a position where identity changes with the ebb and flow of passing people, and where the sound and the fury of a body without organs booms silently though walls of flesh and stone.
Work in progress made during the 2013 year as the Visiting Artist Intern with the University of Georgia's study abroad program in Cortona, Italy.