Hibakusha

half life-size bronze female nude holding heavy ball at shoulders

Hibakusha: Sequential Figure revisited.
Lost Wax bronze casting
My Sequential Figures explore the human condition in relation to the process of casting bronze. Sequential figures retain process marks from wax seam lines to bronze pour to welding. This relates to DNA/RNA replication, as order and process determine form: in genetics terminology DNA Sequencing is the process of determining the nucleotide order of a given DNA fragment. The Sequential Figures includes intentional imperfections that tangibly exhibit the incredible forces the sculpture endures – process marks that are a unique personal history for each figure. Within the permanent bronze figure, transience is compressed to a single moment in time of concentrated energy. In this pursuit of expressing the intangible, I've developed unique sculptural surface qualities that utilize the extreme heat of the casting process to craze the surface with flashing and irregularities – implying the pressures of mortality upon the body.

This peculiar surfacing is achieved through pushing the process of lost wax casting toward failure, a controlled failure. At the moment the molten bronze enters the fragile mold, the heavy hot metal can shatter the mold entirely. This is the most tenuous moment for the hollow space defining the figure within the mold. The entire life of that particular casting culminates in the moment of the pour. I allow a possibility for the figure to have a unique existence in the flash of molten metal striking the mold. This risks total failure, or the death of the form, and allows individuality to each casting.

I cast this half life-size figure in the spring of 2012 while an adjunct professor at the University of Utah. The last time I had access to a foundry for this type of work was in 2003, and resulted in the 2/3 life size figures of Orpheus and Eurydice, my first public art project. A modern foundry can't produce this kind of near-failure. It requires a traditional lost-wax casting facility and the labor-intensive Investment Mold process, which I must do on my own to control the subtleties of near-failure.
Like Cellini's 16th Century casting of Perseus with the head of Medusa, I cast her as a full figure. This allows the surface crazing to fully integrate the form.

Hibakusha (explosion-affected people) is the term given to those who were exposed to radiological fallout from Hiroshima/Nagasaki. Here in Utah the term is Downwinder, down wind from US nuclear tests in Nevada. As the realities of Fukashima Daichi's 3 core metldowns continues unabated, the post 3/11  Sequential figures stand as warning to encompassing chromosmal degredation. The heavy ball  signifies the heavy radioactive particles of Uranium, Plutonium, and the myriad daughter particles absorbed into the body to wreak havok on RNA/DNA sequencing, leading to horrific cancers and degredation of the genome of any furture generations. 
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