Student Work

  • Fine Arts (MFA)

    Alonso Cartú

    Birth or The Memory of Absence

    In this work, I use plaster and butter to reproduce my head and features as seen from an outsider’s perspective. In the process of making this piece, I altered my face by violently dragging a butter sculpture of my head around the walls of a space. Then, I made a mold of the destroyed butter head and cast it with porcelain. Once the damaged head was slip-casted and fired, it reduced in size considerably because the porcelain reacted to the heat of the kiln. From that third head, I made another mold and repeated the slip-casting and firing process. The result was a head that was even smaller than the previous iteration. I kept repeating this process of natural reduction until I ended up with a very small head, which I then turned into butter once again. Butter, plaster, and porcelain react to water and fire, altering their components, shape, and size.

    In the journey towards death, the human body continually gets smaller, and so will mine. As the end draws near, memories of life grow dim. A succession of heads extends into eternity — one by one losing their features and shrinking until they disappear.