‘A COMPARISON’ – Florian Roithmayr

RESPONSE #4 Florian Roithmayr

A comparison:

– A figure chiselled in marble, realised by removing layers and excess,
working downwards or inwards, trying to reveal something. This could
also be carving in bone, ivory, or even already hardened plaster.
– A figure realised through the paradigm of the imprint,
involving a series of mouldings and castings, maybe also in plaster; layers
on top of each other, applications building up to something, trying to
capture something.

Both figures seem equally abstract and pale, seem motionless and frozen. Of course it
could be argued that the one follows a humanistic genealogy of imitazione, idea and
disegno; And the other arrives from an anthropological origin outside of history,
relying on such gestures as contact and touch.

Based on what experiences (material, technical, procedural or otherwise) would I
recognize the one as associated with death and the other with life?
Do I think one result more alive than the other?
What is being animated?

Foraminifera model, one of twenty-six, Grant Museum of Zoology

Foraminifera model, one of twenty-six, Grant Museum of Zoology

So far I have resisted to find out more about the foraminifera plaster models other
than what I have in front of me when I visit them in the Grant Museum and Mark has
laid them all out for me on a padded table. I’m not even sure what I’m looking at are
enlargements or direct reproductions.

What is clear, however, is that these models were produced using a whole palette of
different processes, techniques and materials, mixing traditions of imitazione, idea
and disegno with procedures based on contact and touch. They appear simultaneously
cast and carved, completed with a thick white layer – and additional detail added with
black paint. It seems that the materials and techniques didn’t matter as long as the end
result achieved something, and this something lies entirely outside of the model,
outside of what it consists of, outside of how it came into being.

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