30 Nov 2019 • Shows
‘I think the body has become more conceptual and less felt in the postdigital age’
Anders Krisár’s sculptures are realistic, and yet subvert the human form. His figures appear bisected, with disembodied torsos or floating limbs. Although the material he uses has an uncanny resemblance to human flesh, his work also holds echoes of digital manipulation. It may surprise viewers then that he never uses digital technology in his work, and creates all of these effects through months of painstaking craft.
Initially making his moulds in plaster, alginate and silicone, Krisár then typically sculpts using polyester resin, before adding Bondo putty and primers to achieve a flesh-like finish. It’s a prolonged process, and one that could undoubtedly be accelerated with CAD and automated manufacturing, but for Krisár, the hands on nature of the work is integral.
‘I think the body has become more conceptual and less felt in the postdigital age,’ Krisár explains. ‘Instead of being in the moment, it seems more important for us to document it, to prove that we were there.’ His supremely tactile process stands at odds to this disembodied and distracted experience of the self, and yet his final forms show the signs of violence, division and the impossible struggle of achieving a coherent identity.
There’s a powerful connection with personal history here, with works such as Medicine Mom (2007) referencing his mother’s struggle with mental illness through a portrait made up of pills. Similarly, Sonya (layers) (2008) creates a sculpture of a women built up through a lifetime of her collected clothing. It’s his fleshy sculptures such as The Birth of Us (Boy) (2007) that are most suggestive of the indelible marks caused by past events however, with adult handprints pressing deep into child-like skin.
Body is a mystery; the fact that thoughts and feelings can appear in meat and bones is fascinating, but also quite disturbing
This exploration isn’t necessarily limited to the postdigital condition however, and Krisár is interested in a more timeless experience of what it means to be human. ‘To me, the body is a mystery; the fact that thoughts and feelings can appear in meat and bones is fascinating, but also quite disturbing’, he explains. ‘We may look intact, but the mind is full of chaos, with all of these emotions constantly running at the same time.’
This piece was originally featured in Postdigital Artisans. You can purchase a copy here.