This exhibition comprises a substantial body of new works, shown publicly for the first time. What unites the works in the exhibition is that they all deal with notions of abstractions, in the sense that they contest established conceptions of differences between the virtual and the real.
One of the key works of the exhibition - 'Mirage' - is a life-size bronze figure, referencing an image of a prisoner of Abu Ghraib, which went through the media around the globe in 2004. It looks like an image of a veiled Christ, an image of forgiveness as well as a subliminal crucifixion. Also shown for the first time are a series of eye paintings. Eyes are interesting to Quinn because on the one hand, they are a person's individual feature, just like a fingerprint; and yet, when enlarged, they become completely abstract. "So you have this tension of something so concrete and individual and something completely abstract."
‘The Kiss’ is also part of this series and references some of the most well known works in art history – Auguste Rodin's and Gustav Klimt's works with the same title. The white marble combined with the fine execution of the sculpture references idealised representations of the body of ancient Greece. With these aesthetic means, Quinn lets the unusual proportions of the sitters' bodies no longer appear as disabilities. Much rather, he challenges established conceptions of beauty and opens up questions such as: what is it that makes an ideal body? To what extent are our conceptions of physical beauty culturally constructed?
"In this series of works", Quinn says, “the sitters are heroes who have conquered their own interior worlds, and yet disabled people are invisible culturally, in art history. I wanted to celebrate them and use the medium in its original way as well." In this sense, Quinn's work challenges our conceptions of normalcy as depicted in art history and beyond, and contributes to an ontology of the body.
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