October 2010

Peter Mühlhäusser

WOM’D explores the relationship between environment and the development of young individuals within a specific societal context. Employing stereotypical poses related to religion, culture, and social development, the whole series assumes an exaggerated and ironic character. One culture’s physicality cross references another’s societal failure, and familiar conventions of pose and gesture are recognizable, yet challenged by each subject’s cultural physique. History and the contemporary collide. What is usually predictable is presented here in a revolving manner, defying any categorical imposition. Although each of the six boys bears his own cultural trappings, an essential physicality unites them. In the drama of their incipient motion, they appear as toys frozen in action. However the juvenile imagination they evoke reminds us of their vulnerability. Their flesh looks plush and sensitive, their nudity triggering a desire to clothe them. Ironically, in the midst of this youthful playground there are no smiles or signs of laughter. The boys appear possessed, almost by some sort of “wind-up” mechanism set at the controlled speed of an operator. They are not autonomous beings but actors, and impart the uneasy sense of having been programmed or invaded. These alien boys glitter with paradoxes, beginning with the suppleness of warm flesh rendered in cold aluminum. They are innocent yet threatening, at an age of purity yet absolutely corrupt. Although fashioned with delicacy, they are hard-nosed, brawny, and demanding of attention with their hypnotic physiques. At the very core of this series is a provocative realism. This does not serve as a visual handout, but rather as an extra layer for viewers willing to take the time to read each sculpture. These boys represent the potential future of the world, as well as the possible weapons of its destruction.