20/5/12 – Artist Bio
A few days ago a friend had mentioned the work of Stephanie Lempert, who is an artist / sculptor who also replicates the human skull through intricate designs. According to the Claire Oliver Gallery Lampert uses latex in order to create her three dimensional installations and the artist uses photography to document her subjects.
The Claire Oliver Gallery also mentions that the artist’s work refers to “memory” and “human emotions or experiences”. Lempert also explains that her work “turns memories into objects that exist in both time and space”. (Claire Oliver Gallery)
According to Gillies Deleuze time is split into two separate categories. In the Crystals of time, Deleuze argues that “each moment time splits itself into present and past, present that passes and past which is preserved” (Gillies Delueze, The Crystals of Time p.80)
One could argue that Lempert’s sculptural works documents experiences from the past, although the viewer is confronted with the presence of the object. Perhaps the work becomes a part of the viewer’s memory, which then becomes an object from the past.
The Claire Oliver Gallery also explain that the artist applies words or ‘stories’ to a three dimensional object. In Protectress for example the words formulate an image of the skull with serpents extracting from the back of the head.
When I was introduced to this particular image for the first time, I did not realise that the sculpture featured different letters or words. Perhaps the words reflect a story and the spaces in between the letters may invite one to take a closer look at the skull. The spaces in between the letters provides definition to the skull, although the text becomes very difficult to comprehend through the use of creme or white.
Deleuze also theorises the ‘actual image’ and the ‘virtual image’, which constructs the ‘crystal image’. According to Deleuze the ‘actual’ defines the ‘virtual’, which creates a reflection or a duplicate that is also known as the ‘crystal image’. One could argue a real human skull is an actual image, which defines a representation of a skull, the virtual image. Perhaps the image of the skull become a duplicate or a replacement of an actual human skull.
One could argue that Lempert’s work also relates to Popular culture or mythology. The serpents for instance feature similarities to Medusa who also features serpents retracting from her hair. Xavier Niz and Laurel Bowman explain that Greek mythology introduced Medusa who is a monster that transformed her victims into ‘stone’. Perhaps Lempert’s motionless and solid skull refers to this particular story or narrative.
Do virtual images provide society with an understanding of death? or are we required to recognise an actual human skull in order to understand death or mortality?
Claire Oliver Gallery. “Stephanie Lampert: About the Artist.” Claire Oliver Gallery http://www.claireoliver.com/artists.html?artist_no=38&bio=1.
Deleuze, Gillies. “The Crystals of Time” in Cinema 2: The Time – Image, Trans, Hugh Tomlinson & Robert Galeta. London: Continuum, 2005. p.75 – 95
Niz, Xavier & Bowman, Laurel, Medusa, Minnesota: Capstone Press, 2005 p.5
Image from Claire Oliver Gallery, http://www.claireoliver.com/artists.html?artist_no=38&bio=1.