Co-curated by Claudia Hart and Susan Silas, the new group exhibition Out of Body: Sculpture Post-Photography at New York’s Bitforms Gallery, will feature five female artists who create sculpture using production techniques from simulation technologies.
Showcasing new artworks from Sedition artists, Claudia Hart, Carla Gannis, Sophie Kahn as well as Stephanie Dinkins and Susan Silas, Out of Body: Sculpture Post-Photography will present pieces that engage with issues of sexuality, the body, and identity in the current paradigm shift, whereby conceptions of reality and authenticity are called into question as the dominant means of production moves from photography to computer simulations.
Each of the works are representations of the female form, destabilised, decayed, roboticized, or hyper-realized to represent an evolving consciousness, expressing the possibilities of advanced technologies such as AI, virtual reality, 3D scanning, rapid prototype printing, and augmented reality. Sculpture, photography and video become new hybrid forms whose plasticity mirrors the fluidity they seek to represent.
Simulation technology enables an expression of less rigid identities and bodies, an impulse these artists share. Out of Body: Sculpture Post-Photography aims to push back against the phallocentric, masculinist attributes produced by the tech industry and engineering culture.
Sophie Kahn’s Machines for Suffering I, is the result of her ongoing investigation into female hysteria, a once-prevalent but now-discredited medical diagnosis. At the Salpêtrière hospital in 19th Century Paris, doctors developed charts and photographs that described poses supposedly typical of hysteria. Kahn used these documents to choreograph a group of dancers to reenact the poses for a 3D scanner and then 3D printed the fragmented scans that resulted. The final sculptures incorporate intricate scaffolds which serve to support the fractured bodies, suggesting a woman whose body, or psyche, is subject to a process of construction or demolition.
AGING VENUS, by Susan Silas is a contemporary iteration of Greek classical sculpture using the artist’s aging body as the model. The creation of this sculpture began with a 3D scan of her body, which has served as a reference for a number of photographic and sculptural works. The sculpture in this exhibition was cut from Italian Sivec white marble and finished by hand. The artist worked with Garfagnana Innovazione in Gramolazzo, Italy, using their high performance 3D scanner and a precision anthropomorphic robot.
Claudia Hart’s Alice Unchained is a virtual reality environment designed for the Vive platform, that can be accessed inside a physical room in the gallery, wallpapered and carpeted with decorative patterns. Motions captured from choreographer Kristina Isabelle and professional wrestler Isaias Velazquez have been combined into a single avatar, visible within the virtual reality environment. Hart imagines them as cyborg, a virtual performance beyond gender. A similar hybridity has been integrated into the score, in which drummers follow a digital click-track of computer generated sound.
Out of Body: Sculpture Post-Photography will run at Bitforms Gallery, New York from October 27 – December 2, 2018. Wed – Sat, 11 AM – 6 PM, Sun, 12 noon – 6 PM, Mon and Tues by appointment.