Sunday, February 21, 2010

i heart Ricky Swallow

Image Credit: Ricky Swallow's website

Ricky Swallow’s sculptures address fundamental issues that lie at the core of who we are. Things have lives. We are our things. We are things. When all is said and done it is our things—our material possessions—that outlive us. Anyone who has lost a family member or close friend knows this: what we have before us once that person is gone are the possessions that formed a life. Just as we are defined and represented by the things that we collect over time, we are ultimately objects ourselves. When we are dead and decomposed what remains are our bones, another type of object. And then there is social science. Archaeology, a subfield of anthropology, is entirely based on piecing together narratives of human relations based on material culture, that is, objects both whole and fragmentary. It may seem obvious but it is worth stressing here that our understanding of cultures from the distant past, those that originated before the advent of writing, is entirely based on the study of objects and skeletal remains. Swallow’s art addresses these basic yet enduring notions and reminds us of our deep symbiotic relationship to the stuff of daily life.
The National Gallery of Victoria

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