Venetians grows out of Althamer’s interest in social, site-specific sculpture. For the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, the artist cast the faces and hands of 90 of the city’s dwindling local population. He then attached these molds to bodies made of thick, intertwined plastic ribbons, juxtaposing the realism of their hands and faces—humanistic symbols of occupation and identity—with their haunting, skeletal frames. Althamer employed his father’s plastics manufacturing company to produce these sculptures. As with the artist’s sculpture Bruno of his eldest son at ten, completed with the assistance of Bruno himself, Althamer draws upon social relations to endow his process with an additional layer of intimacy, invisible but for the narrative of the work’s production.
This artwork was featured in the UCCA exhibition “Paweł Althamer,” 2014