Sweat, freckles, wrinkles, pores and veins. In a ‘lively’ exhibition, 39 human body sculptures by 31 internationally acclaimed artists have taken up residence at ARKEN. The artworks make use of extreme realism, which imitates the surrounding world with an overwhelming wealth of detail. The bodies are almost more real than reality itself – they are hyperrealistic. Encountering the works, we come exceptionally close to other ‘human beings’, and the experience is both titillating and transgressive.
These sculptures allow us to dwell on the human body in many different forms and stages of life. Our curiosity is seriously put to the test. The works are either harrowingly honest, grotesquely distorted or imaginatively liberating in their depiction of reality. With technical perfection, psychological understanding, disturbances of scale, humour and existential reflection, the hyperrealist sculptures raise highly relevant questions about what it means to be human at this point in time when robot technology, cloning and artificial intelligence have turned science fiction into reality. Are the bodies before us alive? The seed of doubt is sown.