Butter, plaster, porcelain and gold
In this work titled: “Birth or The Memory of Absence” I present a personal narrative, that relates to my own relationship with materials. The process of reproducing my own head and features into plaster, came from my need to erase my face, as seen from an outsider’s perspective. Once I had my head reproduced in plaster, and the silicone mold was finished, I decided to cast my head in butter. I used butter, because I have a very strong and nostalgic relationship with this material; and because its taste and smell, open doors to childhood memories, that can never be forgotten.
In the process of this piece, I erase my face, by violently dragging, the butter head around the gallery. Rubbing my own head around the walls of a space, was a performative act of sublimation, more than a self-destructive gesture. Through the catharsis of erasure, I was able to portray my own inner darkness, and I found peace in the traces of butter.
In this work, I present ideas of self-reflection, as I materialize myself, into an object, that can be viewed by myself from outside of me. Through the cyclical act, of dragging my head around the room, I could, to a very small extent, understand the fleeting temporal nature of life, and acceptance, of how there is no way to turn things back.
The next months, after the completion of this work, I found myself in a deep and confusing creative process of production. What was once, a piece that spoke about someone else, turned into an on-going installation exposing truths about myself. Moving forward, I decided to make a mold of the destroyed broken butter head, and to cast it with porcelain. Once slip-casted and fired, it reduced its size considerably, as the porcelain reacted to the heat of the kiln. Then from that third head, I made another mold, to slip-cast, fire, and reduce the head even more. I kept repeating this process of natural reduction, until I had a very small head, which I turned into butter again, to present for the final installation of this work.
For months, I saw my face being erased, smashed and reduced in front of me; a long process of mold making, slip-casting and porcelain firing, developed into a self portrait, and a reflection on the journey through life, and the fading of memories.
Butter, plaster, and porcelain react to water and fire to alter its components, shapes and sizes. In the journey towards death, the presence of the human body keeps getting smaller and smaller, and so will mine.
As the end comes closer, the memories of life, keep getting weaker and weaker, and so will mine.
A succession of heads, gets extended into eternity; one by one losing its features, and shrinking into disappearance.
BENEATH THEM WAS FOREVER
New York City