— PROJECT NAME
Seeing's believing, but feeling's the truth. (Fuller, 1732)
Anastasia Prahova works with the concept of the Uncanny by Sigmund Freud, the touch and the body through fragile and body-like plaster forms, physically transformed and shaped by her hands or restraints, usually used as body garments. The formal representation of the touch on the body could become a cause for the uncanny feeling since according to another psychiatrist Ernst Jentsch (1906), it bears intellectual and psychological uncertainty.
The artist explores the privacy of physical touch where a tender intimacy is infused with a pure and painful sense of desire. The liquid plaster form is manipulated until it cures through tension and pain in artist's hands. Consequently, the peak moment of pressure is represented in the actual shape that keeps all the tiniest details of the artist’s body.
Because [a sculpture] presents a human being, a fully animated body,… it seizes hold of us and penetrates our very being, awakening the full range of responsive human feeling… It possesses the power virtually to transpose our soul into the same sympathetic situation. (Herder, 2002)
The latest works are the exploration of her own traumatic and sensitive memories, mostly the ones related to the body. As the artist does not talk directly about her background but rather the feelings that were acquired due to those experiences, the viewer is encouraged to engage with the sculptural forms physically, to get a powerful empathetic sense of immediacy and intimacy, to create unique sensual and personal experience. The touch is one of our most primary senses, and the sculptures are meant to be explored by that sense since it generates the particular concept of sculptural properties, different from the visual language.
As the artist shares her intimate experiences by letting the viewer feel it physically, there is a danger of ruining the inherent temporal beauty of the sculpture. The pure plaster is capable of preserving every trace of viewers' hands, showing that the artist's intimate experience is no more private. The shared tactile exploration of the material and form suggests the mirroring and recognition of the represented reality on our self-consciousness.
FULLER, T. (1732). Gnomologia: adagies and proverbs; wise sayings and witty sentences, ancient and modern … Collected by T.F. London, p.4087.
HERDER, J. (2002). Sculpture: Some Observations on Sculpture’s Shape and Form from Pygmalion’s Creative Dream. Translated by J.Geiger. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
JENTSCH, E. (1997). On the psychology of the uncanny (1906). Angelaki, 2(1), pp.7-16.