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Freshworks Response

Even before being given this assignment, I was inspired to check out the steel sculpture by Araan Schmidt that stood, or rather, wrestled in the center of the 1st floor of the Regis Art Building. The sculpture, titled “M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction)? and created in 2007, features two human skeletons cast in stainless steel, appearing to wrestle each other to the ground.

The figures, both about the size of young adolescents, are grasping one another in death-locks, one on its back and trying to hold back the other, and the other looming over and grasping the arms of its opponent. However, there is one very intriguing and unique thing about these figures; they don’t have faces. The skeleton on the bottom is missing most of its mandible and parts of the upper jaw, while the other is completely without a face. Though the simple sight of two skeletons fighting is a bit chilling, the absence of their facial features makes them downright terrifying and disturbing, particularly in that we as the viewers have less to identify them as humans.
The placement of the figures in real space further contributes to the frightfulness of the piece. Rather than viewing them in a two-dimensional painting or photograph, we are actually occupying the same space as the artwork. Although the piece is frozen in time, it still has a particularly strong, animated presence in our real-world space. This is an attribute unique to placement works such as this, but is particularly made strong through the composition of the figures. Everything from the curled toes of the bottom figure, to the slightly bending spine of the attacking figure is reminiscent of real-life, dynamic movement, appearing realistic and frozen in time. Although it is lying still, everything about the composition and pose of the piece conveys movement.
In reflection then, this piece, though not utilizing any digital or time-based meda, is nevertheless an effective piece to observe when considering art based on time and interaction/animation as it shows the effectiveness of simple posing in the effectiveness of expressing movement.