6 April 2008 12:51 PM
The perfect human body is not the subject of Annamaria Gundlach’s practice. For all that her work "I See You, Do You See Me?" references Classical sculpture—from its posture to its missing arms and legs, which in the case of Roman figures would have been broken off—it leaves behind all the idealism that that era placed onto the human body. Instead, Gundlach crafts a female torso whose sexuality is dubious, nearly hermaphroditic; whose smooth, calm face is obscured by a textured veil; whose skin is marred by full-body bruises and a web of slashes. As if that weren’t enough, the figure’s chest is torn open, revealing her hollowness but also, surprisingly, a small, flat angel, which dangles from a wire affixed to the back inside wall. This seems to suggest that the earthly body, for all its weakness, can find hope in the small soul that floats within and up to some kind of heaven. Alas that soul here takes the form of a cookie-cutter figurine, and so one has no choice but to return to the beaten clay body, hoping to find life in its shell.