Yașam Șașmazer, Swirl, 2015. Wood and polyurethane, 63 x 45 x 44 in.

Yașam Șașmazer

Torrance, California

Torrance Art Museum

In art, the task of the body is to perform some signifying act of emotion; the representation of this act has been sculpture’s job for centuries. As ideas regarding representation have evolved, the kind of emotion and the nature of the body on display have varied with the prevailing culture. Forty years ago, when artists’ resistance to theater and narrative disappeared, the revival of figuration produced an ongoing critique of history and civilization expressed through the figure. Yașam Șașmazer’s critique involves a dramatic, noir-esque enactment of anomie—a vision of the body as emptied out, gutted by experience. Her theatrically abject figures represent a meltdown, the individual’s inability to express selfhood. The narrative of her work owes a great deal to Romantic notions of the body and emotion, and it is conceptually shaped by one of the great post- Victorian precursors to Modernism, the psychologist and visionary Carl Jung. Șașmazer draws from two of Jung’s core concepts—the notion of the “shadow” and “metanoia.” The concept of the shadow refers to the parts of the psyche that exist outside of and are concealed from the light of consciousness…see the entire review in the print version of November’s Sculpture magazine.

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