PRTs, Anastasia Prahova

Before the pandemic lockdown, back in March, I started working on the sculptural installation that I have only managed to complete last week. I wanted to share some process and my thoughts on the biggest sculptural form I have made in years.

Sculptural practice, because of the connection between the hands and the material, has often been associated with the sense of touch. This perceived closeness to touch seems to assign more embodied qualities to sculptural practice than other art forms. The installation might be called a psychological experiment where the fragmented body as sculpture and the body of the viewer are playing the leading roles. The installation is based on personal traumatic experiences where the trauma is represented as a ‘not-me experience of disembodiment’. In a situation of trauma, communication through spoken language fails, and the body may take on the role of the communicator. The shared tactile exploration of the material and form suggests the mirroring and recognition of the represented reality on our self-consciousness.

My studio works are made primarily form plaster with added materials, like fabric and twilled tape. The smooth surface of the plaster gives the illusion of an innocent body that could be easily broken, while the shape and solid weight of the sculpture suggests coarseness and violent tension — creating sensory and visual ambiguity. The thin surface of condom, which acts as a cast for the sculpture manipulated by my hands, can be seen as a skin surface. The sculptures’ surface has imperfections which are very similar to the ones that can be seen on the skin – stretch marks, wrinkles, scars. According to Sobchak (2004:67) the physical, sensorial, and often emotional engagement, which may temporarily precede the conceptual understanding of the artwork, creates ‘immediate sensations’ in the spectators that involves ‘the haptic’ and with it, the role played by our skin. If experiencing artwork in a haptic way involves all the senses, then the act of looking also becomes an experience of imaginative touching (Sobchack, V. 2004: 67-70).

I will share the full sculpture as soon as it will be installed on the offline show!

3 thoughts on “PRTs, Anastasia Prahova

  1. Looking forward to see your complete work! Sculpture could be said as a meditative practice of art. It keeps you involved at each stage. Your work reminds of artist Ernesto Neto. Have a glance at his sculptural installation although you might have!

    1. Thank you for your feedback! Ernesto Neto’s practice was one of the reasons I started my research on phenomenological experience, but I still think that his work is mostly ephemeral and sensorial.

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