David Altmejd talks about the work Le Désert et la semence
Mirror, plywood, MDF, latex paint, plaster, Plexiglas, sand, resin, polyurethane foam, polystyrene, epoxy gel, epoxy clay, steel, synthetic hair, glass eyes, metal wire, quartz, coconuts, acrylic paint, paint brushes, water, monofilament, lighting system
Collection of the artist, courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
The Desert and the Seed is a piece that I made for the exhibition because I wanted to be able to make a piece that would help me tie everything else in the show together. Especially in this room, it was important for me to make reference to the werewolf, because it’s something that was very important for me at the beginning of my career, and also develop it, develop the piece like an architectural mirror structure, which was also very important at the beginning.
But I used this piece as a way of representing transformation by presenting all the different steps of a transformation. So if you look at it, you start by seeing hands … you start with, in the centre of the piece, the piece is filled with what I consider the prime material, the prime matter, and some hands are starting to use that sand to build up a sort of sand brown ball that ends up transforming itself into a coconut, and the coconut transforms itself into the head of a man, and that head transforms itself into the head of a wolf. And then, when you look at the last wolf head up there, that’s hung on the ceiling, it’s actually caught a coconut, biting it, and the juice of the coconut falls into a trough, follows the trough and falls back into the sand, and the hands use the mixture of the coconut juice and the sand to start building a new coconut again. So then, that’s the end of the cycle and the whole movement starts again.