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Core Rishabh Kaul | firstname.lastname@example.orgI stumbled upon "Flesh" accidentally.On a hot and humid Sunday morning last December, my Bengali friend dragged me to theNational Gallery of Modern Art. The psudo-intellect in me immediately took up this offer.How could I refuse it? The notion of staring at avant-garde pieces with dots and dashes(Morse would be proud) and not understanding one bit, while seemed pretentious was anice way to spend an otherwise banal Sunday.Upon entering the gallery I find out that a certain Anish Kapoor’s works are on display so Iproceeded to have look. Mr Kapoor, a sculptor, surely had some fascination with geometry,and almost exploited it and pushed its limits. This was made evident while I strolled fromone chamber to another and looked at the replicas of his works. Ah, yes, of course they hadto be replicas since most of Mr Kapoor’s installations seemed to be of monumental scales;adorning entrances of subways and towering entire meadows.I was enchanted by the sheer size of all his projects; a complicated coiled “monster” whichseemed to be Britain’s answer to the Eiffel tower, a massive pipe that was turned inside outwhich made me think about my “large” intestines, and then there were all these larger thanlife tubes, whose ends had dissimilar geometries. Each new chamber showed me somethingbigger, something which seemed to scream that three dimensions were a cruel limitation onthe creativity of this man.
As I strolled into a new chamber; my mind filled with still photographs of replicas I had justseen, I chanced upon a chasm, and then another one. I looked around me and there wereonly chasms, cracks. There were photos of expanse of lands: valleys, roads, mountains, allseparated by deep black chasms. And then I discovered this one piece, which was…oh goodlord, did he actually? Mummification? What I was seeing was a chasm made out of flesh.Red, and more red and even more red; every single tint of red found its refuge here. Boldcontours, innumerable folds, so many that “the beginning was the end was the beginning”,glistening, raw and staring back at me: Hairless, smooth and perfect, except for the trench.Of course I couldn’t touch it, but I could imagine the texture, smooth moisturised skin givingway to layers of softer, more vulnerable raw flesh going deeper till I could see no more. Tome, it seemed like a lucky passage to the core of humanity in an age where we’re busyhealing wounds and closing it, and then concealing it so that no one can see it. No, thiscouldn’t be a wound that could be sealed; it was possibly then a chasm which is the origin oflife itself.By using of elements found around us to create something which cannot be created byhand, Mr Kapoor, to me seemed to present the Body as architecture, rather than the otherway round. To me, this seemed liked a portrayal of the vagina, from which stems all the artever created by man. And this to me seemed to be art coming full circle, paying homage tothe source. All the other pieces I could see around, or saw earlier, seemed to have merelybeen a product of this one.Boy did I get aroused. I was conscious and thought to myself: Note to self, do NOT wearshorts to the gallery. While part of the arousal might have stemmed from my visualizing theart piece as the vagina and my own hormones which might have reconstructed this with a
body, a face and limbs, there was another part that was aroused because of the appearanceof the artwork itself, named Flesh by the creator. Aroused by how real it looked with itsasymmetry and rawness. Yet it was tantalizing to see how far away it was from me,structurally; the structure of the museum which wouldn’t allow me to touch it, and moreimportantly the structure of the world which separates the real from the unreal. I wouldnever know how this flesh would be once the elixir of life was poured into it. Perhaps, that iswhat I was doing by staring at it.Art in that way, and this piece in particular seemed to reinforce it is something that iscaptured at that instant in time. And often, there is no way for us to know what that instantis. In this particular case, this piece could have been a foot after a ghastly accident, a vaginaat the onset of foreplay readying itself for the intercourse or the human personification ofthe Grand Canyon at a time when it rained blood.And in my opinion, all these instances could be true, despite my primary interpretation of itbeing of origin, suspended at a random instant in time.