Andrea Hasler, a sculpture and installation artist, makes works that attempt to portray the emotional body. As Hasler describes her works,
“I am very fascinated with the psychological aspect of consumerism and its emotional link to ‘Abject’. I am intrigued by the borderline between attraction and repulsion, something that is aesthetically desirable yet revolting at the same time. I play with visions of the future, scenes of surgical fetishes and glamour that can be purchased and harnessed with the tragedy of our own longing. I unsettle the viewer with carefully staged and naturalistic wax reproduction of human bodies and organs. The viewer is confronted with contradictions - and in particular, with his or her own taste. Where does attraction end and repulsion begin?”
Hasler brings the “ugliness” of our desires to the surface, and this is what makes her works so shocking. As the artist states,
“What characterises my work is the sensitive assumption that behind the smooth surface an abyss of hidden desires and forbidden passions can be hidden, a major conflict between the search for identity and the pleasure principles, between social constraints and personal ambitions.”
Hasler’s works are disturbing, but I can’t look away. The artist hears this comment all the time,
“It’s interesting how people are often repulsed by the abject quality of a sculpture but can’t help themselves but to touch it. My work poses new questions: How much can our body take? Will we sacrifice everything for beauty? Which kind of person do we wish to be tomorrow? Which identity to chose? Which designs will we chose? How much money will we spend for it? I often explore these questions by the illustration of surgical fetishes. One day, it will not be the Rolex on your wrist that will be the ultimate luxury accessory but kidneys embellished with diamonds. As soon as the exterior has been completely molded, plastic surgery of an internal organ is its logical consequence.”
For more on Hasler’s work, click here.
- Lee Jones