Man of No Importance
clay, wire, wood, bones, iron, cotton, fabric, glass
165.1 x 104.1 x 76.2 cm
One of the ideals in modernist sculpture was that materials should refute illusionary form: rather than trying to ‘trick’ the viewer into believing that metal or clay might actually be flesh or hair, it was thought that materials should resemble themselves and be material-like. Bhabha draws upon these notions in a contemporary way. Man of No Importance exposes the exact methods of its construction, and the worn and brutal qualities of the materials give the sculpture an aura of ancient ritual and reverence. In Bhabha’s work, however, this ‘hallowedness’ is used to humorous effect as her mythological character, made from bits of scrap, becomes the physical embodiment of impoverishment, temporality, and ideological failure.