I saw this piece at the Venice Biennale in September and it was one of the first kinetic works of art that truly inspired me to explore the world of kinetic art. Trees pulled out of their roots were placed around the Pavilion outside and inside the gallery space these trees slowly moved around the spaces outside and in however the ones displayed outside had the most impact on me. Without knowing that these were a piece of art I didn’t give them my full attention, only when I saw them in the corner of my eye moving did I realise this was a piece of art. At first I was scared and shocked however I became intrigued on how it was made. The piece also had a sound element of rustling leaves which was really realistic. The artist’s intention for the piece was to be a reflection on the constantly evolving state of nature. By producing connections between natural and technological elements, the artist experiments with unpredictable relations between nature and culture.
I have been assigned the corner of the building to create my installation of my breathing bodily form on a bed. I went to look at the space today to see what it was near. I am near a window however I wish to have full control of altering the light so I will have to seamlessly try to board up the window to the same level of the walls. I feel that in having a light enclosed environment will allow the viewer to see every detail within the sculpture and be able to adapt to it as if it was a bodily form that is organic and human-like. Here is a planned drawing I drew of the space and the environment I wish to create for my Degree Show.
By using wax on my moving sculpture I am consciously aware of its fragile nature. The wax cracks and doesn’t allow for any stretch. Wax is a brittle substance that when hard it is easily broken. I want my layers of wax on this piece to not be permanently fixed to the surface, with the motor pushing the surface up and down the wax will crack and eventually fall off. I really think this will add to the piece as it expresses the degradation of the body over time as well as the impermanence of life. Like human skin the surface of the sculpture will crack, wrinkle and age over the period of the degree show.
Clare Chapman is a painter who paints obscure flesh-like pods oozing pus-like material out of them. These odd bulbous forms are painted with pastel pinks and reds making them feel at first very pleasant and inviting but when your eyes try to focus on to what is happening in each painting something has gone wrong within these bodily forms. They are about to burst or have already burst through their membrane through uncontrollable growth or something rotten within them. Overall these paintings are very fascinating reminding me of bodily tumours.
After realising that I was applying the wax too thickly onto the surface of my sculpture I thinned it down with turpentine to give the wax a looser bond and make it thinner. I painted In every fine detail with oil paint watered down with turpentine and to seal it I added a thin layer of wax. I really enjoyed painting on top of the texture I created with the thicker wax as the bumps looked like imperfections in the skin. By sealing the paint with a thin layer of wax each time I could build up layers quickly. After everything dried and hardened I used my heat gun to melt into the layers carefully exposing details from the layers before and merging them with the top layers this allowed me to expose the woolen veins and capillaries making them more visible.
In order to muffle the sound of the motor to make the impact of the piece sounding less mechanical I have not only fixed the motor to the base of the plinth but have insulated it with thick polystyrene and lots of clothing that was going to be thrown away. I was initially concerned with the motor overheating however I left it on for an hour and then two hours monitoring the temperature of the motor and the power supply and there was no difference. I believe it will not overheat as the motor works on the maximum of 12V but it is only being given 9V so it will be slower, less noisy and more effective as a suffering body breathing out what may be his last breath.
Another action I have take was to weld bearings on the end of the moving steel pole to allow it to freely glide against the cam and put less stress on the motor.
I remanipulated the wax and distributed it evenly onto the surface of the sculpture so that the weight is distributed as to not put too much pressure on the motor below the plinth. I will have to add thinner layers of wax if I wish to resculpt into it. I can thin the wax down with turpentine so it will not become so dense.
I have now tried the motor out underneath it and I am content with the movement as it is more recognisable as a “breathing”. However the movement may not be as subtle as I wanted as it moves and expands more, I want to re-manipulate and reconstruct some minor things like the cam size on the motor in order to make the movement more subtle and be more of a sculpture you see moving out of the corner of your eye. After fixing the motor I will try to insulate underneath the plinth to muffle the sound as best as I can
Robert Gober’s works of art suggest the body through the use of everyday objects transforming them into sculptures. Using a bag filled with a dense material he slouches it against the wall creating bodily folds and makes them permanent by using wax and resin to make a visual likeness to the human body. Gober adds human hair to the male torsos he makes to give the look of chest hair. Untitled, a torso of a male is slouched against a wall firstly looking realisting however under closer inspection the body shape is made out of an ordinary everyday bag. This work lends itself to ideas of body image and Freudian ideas about sexuality, memory and loss, themes which Gober also examines.
Within my work I am also investigating how to humanise everyday objects like the duvet I am shaping to become a globular, bodily form that breathes. Looking at the work of Gober is interesting for me as I can see not only his use of material to create realistic flesh but also how he transforms the everyday object to express the slouched form of the body.
Reshaping the human form, Hess is an artist who is mainly photography based. He photographs bodies encased in translucent fleshy membranes trying to push their way out. Representing a re-birth his work is powerful as it expresses the struggle of being confined to the flesh were are bound to. Depicting ideas of self and the world Hess is illustrating the internal body and the external world around us. Fascinating yet repulsive these works that remodel the silhouette of the human body allowing us to sense the emotional state of the subject.
After making the plinth I decided to test the motor out with the sculpture with three more layers of wax on it to see if it moved. Unfortunately It lost the movement I was aiming for and became rigid. Now I will need to distribute the weight of the sculpture and the wax on it evenly by melting and re-manipulating the wax to get the movement like a breathing chest cavity again.