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© 2011 by Susan Silas
           

aging venus


This is a short history of the genesis of the marble sculpture titled AGING VENUS, a contemporary iteration of classical sculpture using my aging body as a model. The preparation for the creation of this sculpture began with a 3D scan of my body, realized by photographing me on a small stage surrounded by cameras, and then stitching the parts together to make what is called an object file. The next step was to take that object file and sculpt the hair inside the 3D space in the manner of a classical sculpture. The inspiration for the hair was taken from Sleeping Aphrodite. After that, it was necessary to create a column to support the legs and a pedestal for the sculpture to stand on.

AGING VENUS is the culmination of an extensive body of work called the self-portrait sessions. When I began this body of work, I was concerned with privacy and explorations of intimacy. As the work evolved, I began to focus my attention more closely on the idea of reflection, literally in the mirror, and in the way that reflection functions in relationship to the image we hold in our mind of our self. Some of the images I shot in the mirror were sharper in the foreground space than in the mirror, and I began to see that second reflected self, which was less wrinkled and less flawed, as my idealized self. As the photos accumulated over what is now over a decade, and I aged in front of the mirror, I began to think about aging and youth culture and started to wonder what an idealized aging female body could mean. This aesthetic logic brought me back to classicism and Greek sculpture. AGING VENUS is feminism meets Greek classicism in the twenty-first century.

The object file was used to create a 3D model out of a thermoplastic called PLA, that stands 11” tall and which became an edition of 20. The larger scale sculpture was cut from white Sivec marble by a high performance robotized 3D scanner that cuts stone with laser technology. The sculpture was produced at Garfagnana Innovazione in Gramolazzo, Italy. After the cutting was complete, I worked with a traditionally trained sculptor to help me finish and polish the marble. The sculpture stands 24" high.

The scan for AGING VENUS also generated a set of 2D photographic studies and a set of photographic portraits, created by shooting stills within the 3D space.

AGING VENUS was first shown in the exhibition Out of Body: Sculpture Post-Photography, co-curated by Claudia Hart and myself with Stephanie Dinkins, Claudia Hart, Carla Gannis, Sophie Kahn and Susan Silas at bitforms gallery October 27th to December 1st, 2018.

The sculpture then traveled to Wasserman Projects in Detroit for the group exhibition Portray, curated by Alison Wong. January 27-March 23, 2019.

 

 







 
AGING VENUS, 2018