Aleksandra Domanović: Votives, (23 March – 11 June 2017)
Henry Moore Institute, Galleries 1, 2 and 3.
With my final exhibition in only a matter of days I have found it refreshing to recap my recent gallery visits, paying particular attention to the arrangement of work.
I am aware that much needs to be considered when situating pieces within a space; yet, as this is my first formal group exhibition, it is almost dizzying trying to balance out all the different factors. While I have tried to numerous occasions to plan the positioning of my lumps, I have been apprehensive. I feel that it is only when I am in the space – when I am able to determine the dialogue between space and work – that I will truly understand where the lumps want to be placed.
A further point of interest was the way in which Domanović merges classical sculptural history with her interest in genome editing technologies. Combining such idealised forms with contemporary concerns links back to my discussion of Weldon’s short film ‘The Lump’ and Eduardo Paolozzi’s ‘Michelangelo’s David’. Moreover, Stryker’s analysis of the biological mutants which inhabit Paolozzi’s work and Kristeva’s study the abject seem to reference the abhorrence often experienced when faced with such uncanny figures. While Domanović’s pieces have clear bodily connotations, the way such limbs extend from the plinth-like blocks is impeding; the features are recognisable, yet the overall form infers lumphood.
What if I were to take inspiration from body parts that are harder to identify? As mentioned by Theodore Scaltsas in ‘The Substantial Form, The Aristotelian Solution to David Lewis’s Paradox’, Substances and Universals in Aristotle’s Metaphysics, a singular lump must denounce it’s ‘identity’ – it’s ‘lumphood’ – in order to fuse with other lumps and become ‘one entity’. What if I were to invert the transition from ‘lump’ to ‘statue’? What if I were to take a classical sculpture, reduce the physicality, display it as a collection of unemployed objects and elevated lumps? I want to reclaim and rediscover the lost lumphood.
After all, was it not Rodin who said that, ‘sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump, not of clear, well-smoothed, unmodeled figures…’?