Anatomical Remix, a solo exhibition by Ottawa-based artist Cindy Stelmackowich takes form at the Latcham Gallery from January 28 – March 4, 2017.
Treading a line between the object and the delightful, Stelmackowich brings to Latcham a series of recently created sculptural works that incorporate dismembered mannequin limbs whose muscle, tendon and tissue are made from the rolled pages of old books. The effect is mesmerizing as one is repelled and compelled by the work at the same time.
On the one hand, we are confronted with sculptural renderings of cross-sections of body parts which generate a healthy dose of “ick factor”, but on the other hand, we are drawn in by the sheer beauty and artistry of Stelmackowich’s gently curling pink, red and burgundy pages that make up the muscles of these limbs. The specimens – as that is how they are presented – are arrayed casually around the Gallery and displayed on vintage medical gurneys and stands that suggest they are objects of study. Stelmackowich’s interest in the history of biomedical science and the study of the human body arises from the long-standing interest in the human body as a site of fragility, mortality, beauty and memory.
These interests inform all of her work in this exhibition and many of the rose-hued pages that are in her sculptures, in fact, come from historical medical texts.
Also on view is a series titled “Biospecimens”, which are slices of books and pages that are pressed inside glass domes and/or scientific glassware and appear “as taxonomy of human body parts – allegories of human flesh.”
Latcham Gallery is at 6240 Main St. and can be found online at www.latchamgallery.ca