Vessels - What's with the stumps?

Vessels from All Things Are Always Changing

When we began photographing the female body in 2003, we needed a way to neutralize the individuality that came with gesture. By eliminating the head and limbs on the figure, we focused the viewers attention on the body; the vessel through which all experiences flow and which is embellished with the scars of a lifetime. By doing this we invoked ancient classical Greek sculpture, scarred and broken over centuries of human civilization. Yet, without Classic proportions, the read entirely different.

Auguste Rodin, The Walking Man, c. 1900

What were they thinking when they rediscovered Greek sculpture?

Pediment sculptures were removed from the Parthenon at Athens and from other ancient buildings and shipped to England by arrangement of Thomas Bruce, 7th Lord Elgin, British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (1799–1803).

When the Greek treasures of statues and artifacts began to be excavated, sculptor Antonio Canova was consulted regarding the necessity of complete restoration or renovation. Canova felt these temple sculptures were sacred, therefore acceptable as they were. His judgement initiated the Modern view of the fragment. Rodin was the first to implement the aesthetic of the fragment and use it for his own aesthetic agenda.

from Art of Ancient Greece, Claude Laisne

Although our agenda was to neutralize sexuality and personality and to emphasize a temporal metaphor, a number of young women questioned what they found to be a violation of the integrity of the whole figure. It is an interesting unintended consequence that for some, the issue of violence toward women trumped art history.

for more see post Vessels - Photographic Representation of the Body

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