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Molds as Cultural and Material Mediators (CAA 2018) -21-22-23-24/02/2018, Los Angeles (CA, USA)


Conference session at College Art Association Conference in Los Angeles (Feb. 21-24, 2018)

Molds, used in a variety of artistic and artisanal practices, are understood as a means of creating an exact likeness. Through the use of the mold the maker is able to pull forth an (supposedly) unmediated image of a subject that already exists — the wrinkled face of a deceased person, the scales of a lizard, or the ornament of an ancient monument. But beyond the transmission of the form mediated by the mold, the touch of the mold to the subject it imprints has been seen in different historical moments as having particularly potent social power in not only capturing the subject’s likeness, but also its interior qualities. In the case of death masks, for instance, the mold that imprinted the face was also seen to facilitate the transfer of their essence into the cast positive, thereby making the absent person present. By freezing the fleeting subject, the mold thus creates temporal stasis. It is due to molds that we are able to study plaster casts of ancient monuments that have since been destroyed or worn away by time.

FECHA/ DATE/DATA: 21-22-23-24/02/2018

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Convention Center, Los Angeles (CA, USA)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Hannah Wirta Kinney (University of Oxford); Emily Knight (University of Oxford).

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