And I thought Ron Mueck’s sculptures were amazing…
And fair enough, they are. But Patricia Piccinni’s work, on show at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide, blew my socks off. Not only are her sculptures incredibly life-like, right down to the dimples, the hairs in the moles, the subtle blue veins under the skin, but they take us into the future. Strange critters imbued with incredible personality inhabit this vision, a vision largely made in a human laboratory. Cloning and gene splicing are among the issues that Piccinni’s sculptures examine, and most carry more than a hint of melancholy. A purposely spliced pig-like creature carries a litter destined to be spare parts; another creature is made as a breeding ground for hairy-nosed wombats. A young girl plays with over-sized stem cells as though they were blobs of plasticene. Two boys play with a hand-held game machine, but they wear the faces of old men.
Also in the exhibit are some cool trucks and even cooler mopeds given animalistic life, photography and audio-visual displays.
But it was the incredible emotion that Piccinni fostered in her fabulous future creatures that elevated this exhibition into the truly remarkable.
Will we — can we — still love our creations tomorrow?
Lisa Hannett also saw the exhibit and describes it with far more eloquence here.
It’s official enough to shout about … check out this spooky little book cover! Devil Dolls and Duplicates in Australian Horror — a collection of short stories about, um, devilish dolls and doppelgangers of all makes put together by Anthony Ferguson — is due out in February through Equilibrium Books (who are taking pre-orders).
Check out this quality list of tried and true yarns, which includes an early story of mine about one way to make the most of a clone. The title says it all, really:
Marcus Clarke: Human Repetends
Wynne Whiteford: Automaton
Van Ikin: And Eve Was Drawn from the Rib of Adam
Michael Wilding: This is for You
Stephen Dedman: A Single Shadow
Jason Franks: The Third Sigil
Jay Caselberg: Porcelain
Sean Williams: The Girl Thing
Chuck McKenzie: Confessions of a Pod Person
Lee Battersby: The Divergence Tree
Rick Kennett: Excerpt from In Quinns Paddock
Lucy Sussex: La Sentinelle
Jason Nahrung: Spare Parts
Robert Hood: Regolith
Kaaron Warren: Doll Money
Andrew J McKiernan: Calliope – A Steam Romance
Tracie McBride: Last Chance to See
Martin Livings: Blessed are the Dead that the Rain Falls Upon
B Michael Radburn: The Guardian
Daniel I Russell: Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem
Christopher Elston: Hugo – Man of a Thousand Faces