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Son 3
(Relatives)

2014

David Altmejd talks about the work Son 3

The Relatives … are like the Bodybuilders but suspended from the ceiling. And because they are upside down, they become something else entirely. This allowed me to use a different material and a different colour: I used black material. To create contrast. It’s a new species.

David Altmejd, in “L’espace intérieur” / interview with François Michaud and Robert Vifian, David Altmej : Flux (Paris: Paris Musées, 2014), p. 39.

Polystyrene, expandable foam, epoxy clay, wood, steel, metal wire, latex paint

Collection Rosaire Archambault

Son 3
(Relatives)

2014

This is a series of figures that comes from my body of work entitled The Bodybuilders. The Bodybuilders are made quite similarly in the sense that they are bodies, figures, that are shaping themselves with their own hands, but they are in white plaster. And I just thought that by changing the material and the colour, all of a sudden it gave me the logical permission to switch them completely. I had the idea of placing them upside down on the ceiling. And all of a sudden, when I did that the first time, I really had the impression that I was discovering a new space completely. It’s a completely different space and I’m just really excited to have the chance of exploring it in my next sculptures. I can imagine building a world that’s upside down, and it would have a completely different relationship to the viewer.

I work on them right side up for the first part because they’re bodies and it’s almost impossible to understand how a body is made. To build a body, a figure, upside down is impossible because it’s impossible to relate to it. It’s a little bit like writing upside down is very difficult. So I work on it, I define it as a figure, as a body, and then when that’s done, I hang it on the ceiling and then I forget that it’s a body and my goal is to make it become an object that has a very intense presence in the space.

I thought it was really appropriate to present the sculpture at the end [of the exhibition] because it’s a sculpture, a series that I actually came about as I was working on The Flux and the Puddle. So it’s a new space that I recently discovered, and that’s the new space that, after this show, when I come back to New York, when I come back to my studio, I’m going to start exploring this space specifically. It’s a sort of opening to the next chapter.