Tim Silver

(Australia 1974 – )

Untitled (object)

Not on display
Further information

'Untitled (object)' 2011-12 features the artist cast in the form of a classical nude. At first statuesque, the artist’s face and body seems calm and dusted with frost as if released from a cryogenic time capsule. The slow degradation of the figure is documented in a series of photographs. Cast in synthetic wood filler, a material conventionally used to conceal imperfections, the material has been manipulated to create this revealing self-portrait which transitions and decays quite rapidly after being cast.

The images are at once beautiful and haunting. Their apparent aging is visceral as we witness cracks and crevices emerging in their surfaces, and the body tilts forward under the burden of its own weight. The figure responds to exposure to the air and the passing of time – creasing and shrinking, overrun with fault lines, and slowly crumbling down to an abstract pile of rubble.

This work explores our relationship with antiquity, and the importance we afford the past. It is perhaps also significant that the figure of a contemporary artist is subjected to this process, a figure in constant dialogue with conceptions of the future and debts to the past. The positioning of the body and the ‘hoodie’ over its head and shoulders imbues the work with both a classical and a contemporary sensibility. The past exists here in the ruins of the future.

Place of origin
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
cedar timbermate woodfiller
34.0 x 195.0 x 50.0 cm overall :
a - sculpture; 32 x 187 x 50 cm
b - base; 2 x 70 x 190 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Gift of the artist 2012
Accession number
© Tim Silver