Plaster, graphite, powder coated steel
90 x 65 x 56 in
Statues Also Die (Whit) is a sculpture made of a Julius Ceasar bust cast with plaster and graphite. The bust is used to make a non representational drawing on the wall, and is then placed on a post in front of the drawing. The act of drawing with the bust activates the work by creating a new form while simultaneously eroding the original. This action acts as a metaphor for the life cycle of cultural objects.
The title of this sculpture, Statues Also Die, is appropriated from the documentary Les Statues Meurent Aussi (1953), which documents the “death” of African artifacts as they are taken from Africa to be displayed in museums of the West. The filmmakers argue that this transition kills the artifacts by depriving them of their original environment. My sculpture echoes this transition, but focuses on time’s effect on cultural objects. I use reproductions of Greco-Roman forms because they are often displaced from their original context. These reproductions present themselves as ontologically charged ready-mades, which simultaneously reinforces the Greco-Roman aesthetic and erodes its original meaning. The act of drawing-down the bust further accelerates this process.
installation image with Under the Paving Stones, the Beach