Huma Bhabha is well known for making sculptures from inexpensive media such as Styrofoam, wood, and clay. She uses these materials for their immediacy: they are easy to work with and shape, reveal her making processes, and convey a sense of mystery in their ‘ordinariness’; they are also the materials traditionally used in bronze casting to make the ‘original’ of the sculpture for the mould. In A.B. however, Bhabha doesn’t only allude to this process, but follows it through to its ultimate conclusion. Picturing a clay head crowning a stack of readymade packing, A.B. is actually a cast and painted bronze. Its surface is uncanny in its detailing: the rough-worked clamminess of clay and gauged and dimpled texture of Styrofoam pose convincingly as the real thing, giving a sense of power and import to the discarded original, and questioning the conventional values of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art.

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