Body as Shell

Alwar Balasubramaniam Indian

Not on view

Appearing as a pile of human skin cast to the floor, this sculpture made of sandstone belies its material. To produce it, the artist recast a plaster form of his own body using fiberglass and molded rubber. Subsequent castings and manipulations resulted in this machine-carved and hand-finished version. Balasubramaniam began making casts of his body in the early 2000s. He describes these as "traces" and "signs of a former presence … the sculpture is nothing but a trace of myself." Throughout his practice, the artist investigates the threshold between presence and absence, materiality and immateriality, the physical and spiritual, the object and space. In this unnerving sculpture, the body appears to be withered away, no longer a mass but a mere shell, suggesting the precariousness between life and death.

Body as Shell, Alwar Balasubramaniam (Indian, born 1971), Synthetic sandstone

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